KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -His college basketball career apparently over, 73-year-old Ken Mink says he accomplished what he set out to do.
Mink played about 15 minutes in seven games this season for Roane State, scoring 5 points along the way.
``For a 73-year-old guy, I felt I played very well and very competitively,'' he said in a phone interview from with The Associated Press from the junior college campus. ``The coaches were happy with it. My teammates were happy with it. They regard me as a player not as some old guy.''
His season was cut short by four games after being notified last week that the National Junior College Athletics Association had ruled him ineligible to play. Mink and Roane State officials appealed the decision but were notified Wednesday the appeal was denied.
NJCAA ruled that Mink had failed to receive proper permission to take a course from a school other than Roane State.
Mink had enrolled in a sociology course through Strayer University when he realized during the fall semester that he might fail a Spanish course.
He continued taking the Spanish course, though he did not pass, and finished the semester with the NJCAA minimum 12 hours of credit that included the Strayer University sociology course.
``It is unfortunate that during the course of each academic year failure to comply with NJCAA guidelines results in some student-athletes being ruled ineligible,'' a statement from the NJCAA said.
Roane State was ordered to forfeit a game against Hiwassee, one in which Mink scored two points.
Mink had decided to pursue his dream of a second season of basketball last year after shooting baskets at a neighbor's house. He wrote to several area colleges, and Roane State coach Randy Nesbit agreed to give him a chance before it ended Wednesday.
This not the first time Mink has been told he couldn't play college basketball. Fifty-two years ago, Mink was coming off a solid freshman season at tiny Lees College in Kentucky and eyeing a Division I scholarship.
. He pleaded innocent but was expelled.
Mink's not planning on pursuing any more college eligibility. His main concern is that people understand he passed enough credit hours and had an appropriate GPA to play.
``This was just a one-time thing. I reached my goals. I've been able to show that age is not necessarily the determinant factor in what you can do in life,'' he said.
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