The NCAA has approved Vanderbilt's appeal for a medical red shirt waiver, which will allow Brian Stamper to be eligible during the 2007 season.
Stamper (6-5, 305) is a four-year starting letterman who served as a team co-captain in 2006. Stamper earned preseason All-SEC honors in 2006 before the injury. His return is expected to bolster an already deep, veteran offensive line which features the likes of returning seniors Merritt Kirchoffer (6-5, 310), Josh Eames (6-5, 305), Hamilton Holliday (6-3 295), Chris Williams (6-7, 315).
Stamper's medical condition was initially attributed to a hamstring problem but later it was determined his pain was caused by back problems.
In December the SEC denied Vanderbilt's request for a Stamper medical red shirt waiver because a conference cannot approve anything beyond the guidelines set by the NCAA. However, Vanderbilt appealed to the NCAA and the SEC provided a recommendation letter stating the reasons that the waiver should be approved.
NCAA rules state that a player must not have played in more than 20 percent of a team's regular season schedule, rounded to the next whole number. This number was three in Stamper's case.