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Vernon Adams did not graduate, making status with Oregon a bit iffy

UPDATED: Thu., July 9, 2015

Academic difficulties could make the football learning curve even steeper for former Eastern Washington quarterback Vernon Adams Jr.

Or not.

The university posted on Thursday the names of students who fulfilled graduation requirements for spring term, and Adams’ name wasn’t on the list. That means he still isn’t eligible to play football for the University of Oregon, where he hopes to compete this fall as a graduate student-athlete.

Adams has been in Eugene for almost four weeks, but without a bachelor’s degree, Adams must pay for his own expenses and can’t participate in the Ducks’ coach-supervised summer conditioning program. That’s important, since he hasn’t had access to competition-level coaching or facilities since Feb.9, when he announced his decision to transfer.

Adams may be able to participate in unsupervised drills with other Oregon players, however, as the Ducks prepare for the season opener on Sept. 5 against Adams’ former teammates from EWU.

Adams said three weeks ago that he had expected to speedily finish two remaining math tests that stand in the way of his graduation; two weeks ago, Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said he anticipated “no hiccups” in getting Adams eligible.

Deadlines are looming. Oregon opens fall camp Aug. 10, but Eastern’s summer term doesn’t end until Aug. 14, potentially delaying his availability. It is unclear whether Adams will be allowed to complete the math work before those dates and join fall practice on schedule.

Adams did not reply to telephone and text messages from The Spokesman-Review, and has not replied to similar requests from newspapers in Portland and Eugene. However, later on Thursday afternoon, Bruce Feldman of Foxsports.com Tweeted that he was told “by a source close to Vernon Adams (that) he is finishing a math class in the next week or so as was planned.”

Adams has been admitted to Oregon’s graduate school, the UO registrar said on Monday.

Adams participated in EWU commencement on June 13, but said three days later that he needed to complete two more math tests in order to graduate. Under NCAA rules, Adams is eligible to play as a graduate student as soon as he completes his undergraduate degree.

In a three-year career at Eastern, the 5-foot-11 Adams threw for 10,438 yards, 110 touchdowns and 31 interceptions while completing 64.8 percent of his passes. He also rushed for 11 touchdowns and was twice runner-up for the Walter Payton Award, given to the country’s best FCS player.

Should he enroll at Oregon, Adams is expected to compete with Jeff Lockie for the starting quarterback position.

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