Ferris State, No. 2 in the NCAA Division II national rankings, has won its first seven games this season and is dreaming of a shot at a national championship, but that suddenly could be in jeopardy.
Defensive lineman Dan Perry, who spent time at Kent State and Michigan, played in the first four games this year because the Bulldogs thought he was eligible.
A Ferris State spokesman said the school later realized he was not eligible and he has not played since.
However, the damage might be done.
"By design, the eligibility of every student-athlete is certified by the university, independent of the athletics department," vice president for student affairs Jeanine Ward-Roof said in a statement. "The student-athlete's transfer history was complex, and the error by the department that certifies student-athlete eligibility was the result of a misinterpretation of a transfer rule."
Ferris State, located in Big Rapids, Mich., did not identify Perry, but mlive.com confirmed that he is the player involved.
Perry was a true freshman wrestler at Michigan during the 2016-17 academic year, transferred after wrestling season and was on the football roster at Kent State during the 2017 football season.
After redshirting last season at Kent, he transferred to Ferris State after the 2017 season to play football for the Bulldogs.
Because of the two transfers in 2017, Perry should have been required to sit out the 2018 season, despite dropping from the FBS to Division II level of football.
Ferris State reported the violation to the NCAA, which will determine whether or not the school will face sanctions for playing an ineligible player.
The punishment could include forfeiting the victories in the four games he played.
Ferris State is second in the latest Division II rankings behind Minnesota State (7-0), which received 25 first-place votes. Ferris State was the only other team to land any first-place votes, with five.
--Florida Atlantic senior linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair sustained a torn anterior cruciate ligament in practice this week and will undergo surgery that will put him out for the season, according the Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale.
Although the school would not confirm the news, OwlsAccess.com also reported the injury to Al-Shaair, who is the school's career tackles leader.
Al-Shaair was named the Conference USA Preseason Defensive Player of the Year after registering a league-leading 147 tackles during his junior season. That included 11 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, four pass breakups and a forced fumble.
The 6-foot-1, 228-pound Al-Shaair was ranked as the No. 24 inside linebacker by NFLDraftScout.com for the 2019 NFL Draft. Through six games for reigning conference champion Florida Atlantic (3-3, 1-1), Al-Shaair was second on the team with 43 tackles this season.
--Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate will miss Saturday night's game against UCLA because of an ankle injury and coach Kevin Sumlin announced that sophomore Rhett Rodriguez, son of former Wildcats coach Rich Rodriguez, will start in Tate's place.
Tate, a junior, has been dealing with the injury since a Sept. 8 game against Houston and was pulled from Saturday's 42-10 loss to Utah. In seven games, Tate has completed 95 of 178 passes for 1,415 yards and 11 touchdowns with four interceptions. He also has rushed 112 yards after running for 1,411 yards last season.
This will be the first career start for Rodriguez, who completed 20 of 38 passes for 226 yards and a touchdown last week againstUtah. He has completed 26 of 45 passes for 275 yards and one touchdown this season.
Rich Rodriguez was fired last January after a $7.5-million notice of claim was filed against him alleging sexual harassment and workplace misconduct.