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Jan. 26, 2005

Columbia, S.C. – The NCAA has verbally notified the University of South Carolina that its request for quarterback Mike Rathe to receive an additional year of competition has been denied.

Last month, USC had submitted its request for an extension on behalf of Rathe, a 6-2, 205-pounder from San Diego, Calif. The request was made based on circumstances involved in his freshman year of college at the University of San Diego and his sophomore year at Mesa Community College in which he experienced a season ending injury when he broke a finger on his throwing hand.

The NCAA staff has reasoned that the circumstances surrounding Rathe’s first year of competition did not rise to the level specified in the bylaws as warranting an extension of his five-year clock, and as a result, the request has been denied. There is a possibility for an appeal in this process, which is an avenue both the school and Rathe’s family is considering.

Rathe is completing an internship this semester and is on schedule to graduate in May with a degree in Sport and Entertainment Management. He underwent surgery on his left shoulder Dec. 10 to repair a torn labrum. He has been undergoing rehabilitation to heal from the surgery.

Rathe appeared in five games last season, completing 12 of 18 passes for 143 yards with one interception and two touchdowns. He is best remembered for his game-winning touchdown pass against Kentucky, a 19-yarder to Troy Williamson with 1:28 remaining that lifted the Gamecocks to a 12-7 victory. For his career at USC, Rathe appeared in 10 games and completed 14 of 26 passes for 167 yards with three interceptions and two touchdowns.

Rathe said Wednesday that he was hopeful that an appeal could be successful, but that he preferred to not make any further comments until he had received official written notification from the NCAA.