WKU's Doughty earns sixth-year waiver

2014's Conference USA MVP was granted a medical waiver to play one more year for Western Kentucky.

After leading the NCAA in passing yardage in 2014, Western Kentucky quarterback Brandon Doughty will be back for one more season.

WKU announced today the senior's medical waiver was approved by the NCAA, granting him a sixth year of eligibility after significant knee injuries in 2011 and 2012.

"As you know, Brandon tore his ACL in 2011 in the Indiana State game and missed the entire season and had surgery," WKU athletics director Todd Stewart said. "That actually healed.

"In the summer of 2012, in preparing for the 2012 season, he re-injured the knee. He had to have it scoped and was never able to get healthy again. He missed the 2012 season, minus a couple games, because of that injury. The waiver (filed by associate AD John McCammon) that was filed was sent to the NCAA for them to review. The waiver that we asked for was for the 2012 season.

"We are very pleased. I want to compliment the NCAA. Sometimes it is hip to criticize the NCAA for not caring about the welfare of student-athletes. When they looked at this, they did care about Brandon’s welfare and made what we felt was the right decision. We appreciate them looking at it in the detail they did and coming to the conclusion they did. We are thrilled to have our quarterback back for another year, and we know he is happy to be back too."

Doughty led the nation in passing with 4,344 yards and 44 touchdowns in 2014, including eight touchdowns in an upset over then-No. 24 Marshall in their regular season finale.

His offensive unit also expects to retain a large number of starters from 2014's record-setting squad, including star tailback Leon Allen (1,490 yards, 12 touchdown's,) four of their five most targeted wide receivers, and three starting offensive linemen.

Can Doughty and his crew duplicate--or even improve on--this year's numbers next season?

They're sure going to try.

"Those numbers are hard to surpass," WKU head coach Jeff Brohm said. "To get a chance to get another year, to improve his game and see how far he can take this team, to try to find ways to win a championship, to spend a full year to hone his craft and become the best he can be.

"Myself, (Offensive Coordinator Tyson Helton) and our entire offensive staff will do whatever we can to help him improve. We will hone in on those things and help him to achieve the very best he can be. We will have a plan and I think he will do a great job."

Before looking too far ahead to 2015 though, the Toppers know they still have a bowl game to play.

WKU faces Central Michigan in the Bahamas Bowl on Dec. 24, with kickoff scheduled for 11 a.m. CT.

"It’s been a crazy day," Doughty said. "It’s an honor to be able to get a sixth year, not many people get to do that.

"We are trying to keep the focus on going to the Bahamas and beating Central Michigan right now. It is a special day for my family and everyone around me."

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