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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, May 9, 2001

Warriors' Weaver not granted extra year of eligibility

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

University of Hawai'i football coach June Jones said the NCAA has rejected running back Avion Weaver's appeal for an extra year of eligibility, effectively ending his college career.

According to NCAA rules, a player can petition for a medical hardship only if he plays in no more than 20 percent of his team's games during a season.

UH played 12 games last season; the NCAA usually sets the cutoff at three games (25 percent). Weaver, a senior last season, played in parts of four games before calling it a season because of a knee injury.

Because Weaver played sparingly last year and had not used a redshirt season during his college career, it was hoped he could receive a medical hardship. The NCAA ruled otherwise.

When asked if Weaver would file another appeal, Jones said, "I don't think so. I think the NCAA made the final decision."

As a junior in 1999, Weaver led the Warriors with 645 rushing yards, an average of 5.7 yards per carry. He was second on the team in total offense.

He was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1999 O'ahu Bowl after rushing for 84 yards against Oregon State.

Jones said running back Afatia Thompson's quest for an additional year has not been resolved.

Meanwhile, linebacker Joe Correia vowed to be ready for training camp in August after undergoing surgery Monday to repair a broken left foot.

"I'll be back," Correia said following surgery at the Queen's Medical Center.

Correia sustained the injury during a pick-up basketball game last week at UH's Klum Gym. He said he landed awkwardly on the foot of football teammate Chad Kapanui.

"It was real sore," Correia said. "I know one thing: I'll never play basketball again."

The NCAA awarded Correia a fifth year of playing eligibility after he missed most of last season because of a sprained right ankle and broken bone in his right foot.

"Bad things happen in threes," Correia said of the injuries. "I had a sprained ankle and a broken foot. Now this. I'm done with injuries."

Correia said the broken bone in his right foot was slow to heal because he did not undergo surgery. This time, he opted for surgery on his left foot. He made his decision based on the quick return of safety Nate Jackson, who was able to work out five weeks after undergoing foot surgery.

"It's better to have surgery, so (the foot) will get stronger faster," Correia said.

Correia said he continues to lift weights, but will not begin aerobic workouts for another month. His left foot is covered with a hard cast.

The 6-foot-2 Correia weighed 245 pounds during spring practice in April, when he made the successful move from defensive end to outside linebacker.