Mike Rathe Update

While the NCAA has issued it's official, written denial for a sixth year of eligibility for Gamecock quarterback Mike Rathe, we shouldn't write him off just yet. The process continues and promises have been made that no stone will be left unturned in an attempt to give this outstanding young man the chance he has dreamed of since entering the University of South Carolina...

There seems sufficient evidence to suggest that Mike's situation does in fact fall within the acceptable criteria for granting such an extension. However, granting the extension under his circumstances would necessitate setting a precedent from the NCAA Staff. As it is with many organizations of this nature, status quo is the much easier and more traveled path. So it is with the Rathe request. If they don't set the precedent, then they have to issue the denial. Precedents are not the forte of the NCAA Staff.

So, where do we go from here? We go to the NCAA Appeal Committee. A committee where setting such a precedent is very possible. The Appeal Committee should have the request early this week. After that, we have the possibility of a positive, favorable reply within two weeks.

So what has Mike Rathe been doing since his graduation from the University of South Carolina? He's been working his tail off. Mike has enrolled in graduate courses and plans to continue his education at USC. He is working out and studying the play book non-stop. He has totally committed himself to remaining an active Gamecock for one more year. A year he hopes will see the opportunity to take the field and play under the dynamic leadership of Coach Steve Spurrier. What young quarterback wouldn't give everything for such an opportunity?

Mike has faced this difficult time with all of the characteristic integrity he has become so well known for. Mike Rathe is one of those young men that never fails to set the standard for high ideals and the walk to back the talk. You would never hear a negative word from this young man. He won't "bad mouth" the NCAA or make comments that he's somehow getting a raw deal. He'd never accept a victim's mentality or cry foul. What he will do is to continue doing everything he can to be ready for the chance of a lifetime. He'll work hard and fight hard for the opportunity to continue wearing the garnet and black. That's pretty amazing considering the number of young athletes, nationwide, that are so quick to throw their futures away.

Gamecock fans, don't write Mike Rathe off just yet. He and his family are dedicated to remaining Gamecocks. I hope we continue to be equally dedicated to Mike Rathe. Regardless of the final positioning of quarterbacks for the 2005 season, Mike Rathe is the epitome of a positive role model in the field of student-athletes. We should be proud of him. He is a shining reflection on the University we all love so dearly

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