The Southeastern Conference has officially denied the waiver application submitted by Vanderbilt requesting an additional year of eligibility for team captain Brian Stamper. The decision by the SEC has been expected all along, since no variance from the guidelines set by the NCAA is allowed.
The guideline for the participation in games is 20% of the season, which rounds up to three games. Stamper started and played in the first three games against Michigan
. He was injured during the game against
Arkansas but continued to attempt to participate in both the Temple
and Tennessee State games not realizing that his injury was as serious as the final diagnosis. He was held out of the next two games while he was being examined and while test were being performed. The injury was first believed to be a hamstring injury that ended up being a back injury that required surgery. After his surgery his prognosis is for a full recovery that will allow his return to competition.
Stamper was voted team captain by his teammates during the spring and he was projected as an All-Conference performer. The circumstances that surround his role in team leadership and his continued participation in the two games beyond the guidelines after thinking his recovery would only require rest and rehab, his waiver appears to have merit in the eyes of the conference.
The NCAA has been petitioned for the medical red shirt waiver after the denial of the SEC, along with the detailed explanation surrounding the series of events including a recommendation from the SEC requesting the waiver. This would appear to be reason for Stamper to be optimistic about his chances to be granted the additional year of eligibility and a new chance at finishing what he started at Vanderbilt. The decision should be expected somewhere from the middle to late January.