McNeese State offensive lineman Miguel Gauthreaux, center, has been granted another year of eligibility, the NCAA announced on Monday. (American Press)
Last Modified: Monday, April 30, 2012 7:57 PM
Miguel Gauthreaux hadn’t given up hope,
but he had accepted reality.
After twice being denied a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA, Gauthreaux took a job in construction assuming that his days of playing football were over.
But now the real world can wait.
Gauthreaux’s third and final appeal was
accepted Monday, meaning the all-conference right guard will be
eligible for suit
up for McNeese State next fall as a graduate student.
“I was elated to say the least,” said Gauthreaux, who got the news while at a job site. “For them to call me back while I was at work staring at my future, to tell me I had another year — I had tears in my eyes. I’m not afraid to say that.”
Gauthreaux was expected to be the
anchor of the McNeese offensive line last season, but a freak knee
injury in August ended
what was supposed to be his senior year before it even
“When it first happened, I knew I was done for the season,” Gauthreaux said. “The MRI came back, torn ACL, MCL, lateral meniscus. About as bad as you can do as far as a knee injury goes. Doc (Murphy) told me ‘You can get your year back, you’ll be fine.’”
Gauthreaux did get the year back, though it took a whole lot longer than anyone expected. He credited McNeese compliance coordinator Bridget Martin with continuing to fill out the paperwork necessary to appease the NCAA after the first two appeals were denied. Gauthreaux said the NCAA needed proof he had also missed the 2007 season because of injury.
“Miss Bridget Martin, I can’t thank her
enough. She’s done so much for me,” Gauthreaux said. “I was preparing
for the future,
not too worried about football anymore. I’m about to get back in
that mode, to play football again.”
Gauthreaux said he has not spent a ton of time with new offensive line coach Rob Sale, but he does know Sale has made some tweaks to the play terminology.
“Coach Sale is an excellent coach,”
Gauthreaux said. “I’ve gotten a general grasp of the new terminology.
I’ve got a lot of
time to catch up this summer. I’ll be working really hard on that
playbook to get everything back in my head.”
Head coach Matt Viator expressed gratitude for Gauthreaux’s return to the team in an official statement.
“This is good news for us,” Viator said. “We’re grateful to the NCAA and look forward to getting him back.”
The Cowboys will have three offensive linemen in their sixth year of eligibility next season — Gauthreaux, Jonathan Landry and Carson Chaisson.
In addition to Martin, Gauthreaux
insisted there were many to thank for getting him through the emotional
roller coaster of
injury rehab and waiting to see if he would play again.
“My family and friends for all the prayers and support... Doc Murphy and J.D. Boudreaux on the McNeese medical staff, Doctor John Noble at Center for Orthopedics, Coach V and his staff and last but not least all the glory to God for making it possible,” Gauthreaux said.