Florida freshman Gak ruled eligible, could play in opener

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Florida freshman center Gorjok Gak has been ruled eligible and will be available for the season opener Friday night.

The Gators open against Florida Gulf Coast in Jacksonville.

The NCAA ruled the 6-foot-11 Gak ineligible in the summer due to questions about the number of games he played at Victory Rock Prep in Bradenton after arriving from Australia. The NCAA said Gak could enroll at Florida for his freshman year and practice with the team, but he would not be eligible to compete until his sophomore season and would have three years of eligibility.

The university's compliance office appealed. The NCAA granted the waiver Thursday, restoring Gak's eligibility in full. He now has four years to compete.

Coach Mike White says ''our administration spent a lot of time fighting for him. And during that time, despite assuming he wouldn't be eligible to play this season, Gorjok was a steady contributor at our practices with his work ethic.''

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