American pulls scholarship offer away from Derek Phillips

By John Fuller | Jan. 12, 2003, 12 a.m. (ET)
American University has pulled back an offer of a full scholarship to impending transfer Derek Phillips of Central Michigan. Phillips, a fifth-year senior, would be eligible to compete in the second semester at 141 lbs. "They offered me a scholarship, and then school officials called me and pulled the offer off of the table," Phillips said from his home in Grosse Point, Mich. "I had my car all packed and was ready to go down there. I was excited about wrestling for Mark Cody and American, but the the school evidentally didn't feel it was right." American head coach Mark Cody declined comment on the matter. Phillips is currently considering a transfer to two-time defending NCAA champion Minnesota. Phillips was behind two-year starter Jason Mester at Central Michigan and struggled to break the starting lineup. He placed fifth at the 40th Midlands Championships in December, including a win over defending NCAA champion Aaron Holker of Iowa State. During his three-year career at Central Michigan, Phillips has posted a record of 57-26, including eight wins by fall. This season he has wrestled unattached. If Phillips transfers to Minnesota, he will not be available to wrestle at the Cliff Keen/NWCA National Duals due to a Big Ten Conference rule that states that incoming transfers may not compete until the second semester at the eligible school begins. Classes do not begin at Minnesota until Jan. 20.