Quarterback to appeal denial of sixth year of eligibility

Updated: May 18, 2005, 5:42 PM ET
Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The NCAA denied South Carolina quarterback Mike Rathe's request to reconsider his application for a sixth year of eligibility.

The university announced the NCAA's decision Wednesday and Rathe said he plans to appeal.

The NCAA had initially rejected Rathe's request to extend the five-year window for football eligibility.

Rathe attended the University of San Diego and Mesa Community College before transferring to South Carolina. He requested the additional year because he missed a full season with a broken finger before he got to South Carolina.

"We have been waiting for three months so I am disappointed," Rathe said in a statement released by the university. "But we are not dead yet because we have an appeal left.

"We will try to keep a positive attitude until the end and hope for the best."

The 23-year-old played in five games in 2003, his first season with the Gamecocks, completing two passes for 24 yards with two interceptions.

Last season he had his most notable moment with South Carolina, tossing a 19-yard touchdown pass to Troy Williamson with 1:28 to go in a 12-7 victory against Kentucky.

For his South Carolina career, Rathe was 14 of 26 for 167 yards with two touchdown passes and three interceptions.

Rathe was one of several quarterbacks competing for the starting job during spring practice for new coach Steve Spurrier.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press