<
>

Red Raider who was injured regains some eligibility

LUBBOCK, Texas -- The NCAA granted an unprecedented waiver
to Texas Tech center Esmir Rizvic on Monday, allowing him to remain
eligible for an additional half season.

Rizvic missed the second half of last season after his eye
socket was fractured by an opponent's elbow. The NCAA
Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee ruled that he should have
the opportunity to play the number of games he sat out.

"We're pleased with the outcome," Texas Tech coach Bob Knight
said in a news release.

The committee had never granted an athlete a partial season of
additional eligibility because of an injury, said Kevin Lennon, the
NCAA's vice president for membership services.

The unique circumstances of Rizvic's situation resulted in the
committee's decision to grant the waiver, Lennon said. The opposing
player, Oklahoma's Longar Longar, was assessed an intentional foul
and suspended two games by the Big 12 for the elbow in the
conference opener on Jan. 5. The severity of the injury was also
taken into account, Lennon said.

Rizvic will be allowed to play the half season during his fifth
year of eligibility, which would come during the 2008-09 season.
NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said Rizvic is expected to play the
second half of that season. The games he plays must be consecutive
-- he must play either the first or second half of the season.

To calculate how many games constitute 50 percent of the season,
the school must count all regular-season contests and the one
conference tournament game it is guaranteed of playing. If Tech
competes in an elimination tournament like the NIT Season Tip-Off
that year, it will count only the contests in which it actually
plays.

The 7-foot, 252-pound Rizvic started 11 games and averaged 3.8
points last season. He transferred to Tech from a junior college in
Florida in 2006.