Allie Cummins’ collegiate softball career has officially been shortened to three years.
The 2018 Lakota West High School graduate is part of the Miami University program, but she’ll sit out the 2019 season after her last appeal to the National Letter of Intent Appeals Committee was rejected.
Cummins signed a national letter of intent with Akron last November, but asked for her release after becoming uncomfortable with certain aspects of the program. She had video proof of drinking and smoking activity among the Akron players, but the school refused to release her, and her three appeals to the NLI were denied. So she is losing one year of eligibility.
Daryl Cummins, Allie’s father, said her final appeal was made by teleconference Monday. The Cummins family was informed of the committee’s decision several hours later.
“We met with five commissioners from different conferences across the country,” Daryl Cummins said. “They basically come back and say your appeal is denied, no reason given. It’s like the lady told me: ‘In my 12 years of being here, less than a handful of people have ever been released.’ To me that seems to be a slight flaw in the system because the NCAA and the NLI certainly aren’t looking out for the student-athlete if the numbers are that bad.”
Akron still could release Allie at any time and restore that year of eligibility.
“I think we burned too many bridges for them to ever do that for us,” Daryl said. “In the same breath, maybe we can help somebody else avoid having to go through this.
“There’s no advantage per se to sign a letter of intent. You can just sign a letter to attend with the university. I think that’s the part we’re at now.
“I’ll bet you 99 percent of the people that sign an NLI have no idea what it means or what the repercussions are if it doesn’t go well. Now for 95 percent of the people, it’s all hunky-dory. But for the other 5 percent, they have no advocate to talk to. We’d like to help people not be in the position we’re in or help them if they do get in our situation.”
Daryl said the family was asked some curious questions by the NLI committee regarding her scholarship situation at Miami and whether the family ever tried to contact the Mid-American Conference (which they didn’t). He didn’t see how any of that was relevant.
Asked how Allie took the news, her father said, “She did break down and was quite upset, but (Miami) coach (Clarisa) Crowell and the other two coaches came and met with her and together they worked through it. Coach Crowell is a phenomenal lady. We’ve also been very fortunate with all the support we’ve gotten from people we don’t even know. We very much appreciate that.”
Allie Cummins, a shortstop/catcher, hit .591 with 17 doubles, three triples, nine homers and 44 RBIs as West went 26-4 and advanced to the Division I state championship game in June. She earned a spot on the Ohio High School Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association’s All-Ohio first team.
Cox Media was the first media outlet to publish Cummins’ story Aug. 25.