Three Tech players eligible for a sixth year - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Three Tech players eligible for a sixth year

RUSTON, LA (KSLA/Louisiana Tech Sports Information) -

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) ruled on three Louisiana Tech appeals Thursday, granting Richie Casey, Jeremy Graffree and Andrew Guillot a sixth year of eligibility.


All three Bulldogs sustained multiple injuries in the past that prevented them from competing for four years in their five year windows. NCAA rules stipulate that a student-athlete has five years from the first day they enroll in a school of higher education in which to play four.


Head coach Skip Holtz initially announced the rulings over his twitter account, @LATechSHoltz, and retweeted the news from the program's official twitter account, @LATechFB.


"I am excited for these young men to be able to compete on the collegiate level for a full four years," Holtz said after he told the student-athletes the news. "To see the huge smiles on those young men's faces shows you how hard they have worked to be ready to play this season. All three easily fell into the guidelines for the sixth year that the NCAA has granted them. It is great that they will get to compete for a fourth football season on the collegiate level."


Casey, a wide receiver from Homer, enrolled at Louisiana Tech in 2008 but did not play in both the 2008 and 2009 seasons due to a pair of knee injuries. He enters the 2013 season with 75 career catches for 764 yards and four touchdowns.


Graffree, an offensive lineman from Gauthier, Miss., joined the program for the 2011 season after spending the previous three years at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Graffree sat out the 2008 season at Mississippi Gulf Coast with an injury and then suffered an Achilles injury in August 2012, sidelining him for last year's campaign. He has played four games for LA Tech in a Bulldogs jersey, all of which came in 2011 when Tech won the Western Athletic Conference Championship.


Guillot, a wide receiver from Slidell whom former coach Sonny Dykes termed as "The Man with the Bionic Knee," suffered knee injuries in both 2008 and 2009, preventing him from playing. He enters the 2013 season with 45 career receptions for 373 yards and one touchdown while also recording 14 punt returns in his career for 168 yards including a long return of 52 yards against Central Arkansas in 2011.


LA Tech is still awaiting a ruling on a sixth year for offensive lineman Larry Banks and a waiver for transfers Joseph Brunson (Louisiana-Lafayette) and Paul Turner (LSU) to be eligible to play immediately.


The Bulldogs will host the program's annual Fan Fest on Saturday, Aug. 17 with an added bonus. This year's event has added a preseason tailgating event beginning at 4 p.m. and fans are invited to claim their regular season tailgating spots and fire up the grills in preparation for the 2013 season. Free food will also be available courtesy of some of Louisiana Tech's most loyal sponsors, including Brennan Dodge and Super 1 Foods. Free popcorn and drinks will be provided by Aramark.


Schedule posters, schedule cards and other material will be handed out while supplies last while fans can also purchase their season tickets or single game tickets during the event. The Louisiana Tech Barnes and Nobles Bookstore will also be set up selling merchandise.


Louisiana Tech opens the season on Aug. 31 at North Carolina State while the Bulldogs home opener is Sept. 7 against Lamar.

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