Decision on Neal looming - Tucson News Now

Decision on Neal looming

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CULVER CITY, CA (Tucson News Now) -

The Arizona Wildcats are all of a sudden thin at the wide receiver position.

Star junior Austin Hill is expected to miss the entire 2013 season after tearing his ACL this past spring while Tyler Slavin, the hero of the New Mexico Bowl, abruptly left the team last month.

Head coach Rich Rodriguez speaking Friday at Pac-12 Media Day at the Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, CA told Tucson News Now he expects to know within a week if transfer Davonte Neal from Notre Dame will be eligible for the 2013 season.

Neal, who helped Scottsdale Chaparral win three consecutive Arizona prep football championship, is applying for a hardship waiver. He left the Irish after one season to return to Arizona in order to be closer to his infant daughter.

Whether the NCAA sees that as a reason to grant Neal immediate eligibility remains in question.

A conference call between the body and the athletic department is scheduled for next week.

When asked about Slavin's untimely departure, Rodriguez said his preference was not to talk about players who were no longer Arizona Wildcats.

"There's always situations (when kids leave) that are not being reported and that people don't know about that are best left unsaid," said Rodriguez.

Slavin caught two passes, including the go-ahead touchdown, on the final drive in the Wildcats miraculous come-from behind victory over Nevada in the New Mexico Bowl.

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