The initial West Virginia depth chart came with few surprises, but one omission caught fans' eyes today: redshirt freshman wide receiver Shelton Gibson was not among the wide receiver ranks.
The answer is a fairly simple one but appears to simply be a matter of omission on the part of West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen's staff. While the original story was that Gibson redshirted last season, a source told the P-G Sunday that Gibson never received his initial eligibility last fall — the former four-star wideout was a partial qualifier by NCAA standards when he came to Morgantown from Cleveland Heights, Ohio.
What does that mean? His high-school coursework didn't line up properly with NCAA requirements. At some point last fall, West Virginia was notified by the NCAA that Gibson did not fully qualify — he was also not a non-qualifier, though, which would have meant he would lose a year of eligibility.
Instead, as a partial qualifier must sit out the entire year (through May) and is not allowed to practice with the team. As long as his grades hold up, the year would count as his redshirt season and he return this fall and still have four years of eligibility remaining.
A team spokesperson confirmed that Gibson did not practice Sunday, was not listed in the initial spring depth chart and would not join the Mountaineers until May.
The short version: Gibson was a partial qualifier last season and therefore was not granted his initial eligibility. He was able to keep his scholarship but could not practice with the team. This one-year ineligibility will be up in May, so he will miss spring camp.