Quarterback Jesse Scroggins missed Tuesday's practice to focus on academic issues, coach Lane Kiffin said, and could miss more of the Trojans' five remaining sessions to try to secure his eligibility for the fall semester.
"It's important how well he finishes," Kiffin said Tuesday.
Scroggins, a redshirt sophomore, is academically ineligible this spring but has the ability to pull himself up past the GPA minimum with certain marks. If he doesn't get them, he'll be ineligible in the fall -- when it really matters -- and unable to compete in the 2012 season.
During winter workouts, Scroggins guaranteed he would be able to get himself eligible by the end of the spring semester, which concludes May 9. But Kiffin indicated that the Lakewood native still has a lot of work to do in the final month.
"I will be eligible in the fall, there is no question about that," Scroggins told ESPNLosAngeles.com in February. "I will be practicing in the spring and I will still be here in the fall, no doubt about it."
Of course, Scroggins has been sidelined for much of the spring because of an injured hip and has been unable to participate in most parts of practices even when he was out on the field. Kiffin said that played a role in the Trojans' decision to keep him off the field altogether.
"He's coming to our meetings but because he can't do all the stuff in practice we're leaving him in academics to do some extra work," Kiffin said.
Because of his absence this spring, Scroggins has fallen behind redshirt freshmen Max Wittek and Cody Kessler in the competition to back up starting quarterback Matt Barkley this fall.