NCAA makes decision on Stamper

A NCAA committee met today to review Vanderbilt's appeal for a medical red shirt for senior offensive lineman Brian Stamper. Stamper saw action in five games during the 2006 season but played only briefly during the TSU and Temple games before he was sidelined for the remainder of the season.

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.

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