NCF Nation: USF

UCF: No contact with Big East

November, 3, 2010
11/03/10
6:05
PM ET
As the speculation machine starts to swirl about potential teams in the mix to join the Big East, UCF issued a statement Wednesday saying there has been no contact with the league.

Maybe not yet, but you can bet there is significant interest from UCF, which failed in its bid to join the Big East the last time the conference expanded. Instead, cross-state rival USF got the nod, leaving the school waiting for another chance to get into an automatic-qualifying conference.

You can watch my video pointing out why this is a good fit for UCF. The Knights would crawl on their hands and knees to Big East league offices in Rhode Island if it meant getting a bid. The school now has the second-largest enrollment in the nation, a new football stadium, improved facilities, and is bowl eligible for the third time in four years. Though USF has been against adding UCF, there may be a way to smooth over those tensions for the good of the conference.

After all, the Big East needs to survive first and foremost, and adding two more conference members helps. Especially if another team from Florida comes into play.
Houston quarterback Case Keenum is done for the year, but is he done for his career? There is a possibility the prolific quarterback could appeal to the NCAA for a medical hardship redshirt and a sixth year of eligibility.

Coach Kevin Sumlin said it was too early to consider such a possibility, which would appear to be a long-shot based on recent decisions the NCAA has made with other players. Under NCAA rules, a student-athlete has five years to complete four years of eligibility. Student-athletes can apply for the sixth year of eligibility should they lose more than a season for reasons beyond their control. Since Keenum took the typical redshirt season as a freshman, Houston could have difficulty making the case.

Here is a look at some of the recent waivers the NCAA has granted, and some it has rejected. Keep in mind each appeal is handled on a case by case basis:

GRANTED

FAU senior running back Jeff Blanchard got a sixth year because he suffered season-ending injuries in 2007 (ankle) and 2009 (knee).

Kent State running back Eugene Jarvis was granted a sixth year after a lacerated kidney forced him to miss nearly all of 2009. He was redshirted as a freshman because an error with his high school grades had him declared academically ineligible.

South Carolina LB Rodney Paulk had his waiver granted after missing most of the past two seasons with knee injuries.

USF running back Moise Plancher was granted a sixth year because he did lose two seasons to injury. He redshirted his freshman year because of a shoulder injury in 2005, then the following season he suffered a season-ending knee injury in the opener.

Arizona State WR Brandon Smith got his sixth year of eligibility. He missed the 2007 and 2009 seasons because of injuries.

REJECTED

Ball State TE Madaris Grant had his appeal denied. Grant tore an ACL in the first quarter of the season opener last season against North Texas. Coach Stan Parrish said that the appeal was rejected because the NCAA requires two severe injuries for a sixth year. Grant redshirted his freshman year without injury.

Cincinnati QB Ben Mauk had his appeal denied. Mauk was redshirted as a freshman, then missed almost all the 2006 season with a shoulder injury. He argued he did have an injury in his redshirt season, but the NCAA still said no.

Oregon State QB Lyle Moevao had his appeal rejected. Moevao injured his right shoulder during the 2008 season, then suffered a foot injury in October 2009. The school said his appeal was denied, “due to him not demonstrating the loss of two seasons beyond his control."

Florida RB Dorian Munroe had his appeal denied despite tearing his ACL last year for the second time in his career. The NCAA turned down the appeal because he played in a game in 2009.

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