Due to the deaths of people close to them. two recruits who would’ve been members of the Class of 2007 sat out that season before beginning their careers at Southern Miss.
Monday, one of those players learned he will be getting another season of eligibility. The other? Not so much.
In a press release, Southern Miss announced that the NCAA had approved a sixth-year request for senior offensive lineman Jason Weaver (pictured, No. 52), while also denying a similar request for senior linebacker Korey Williams. Both players missed nearly a full season — Weaver in 2010, Williams in 2011 — due to injury.
In a statement, USM senior associate athletic director for compliance Jason Gray explained that the differing decisions basically boiled down to one factor: Weaver dealing with the death of an immediate family member, while the death Williams dealt with was not.
“Both of these cases involved very complicated circumstances,” Gray said in the statement. “These weren’t your typical extension requests where you have a student-athlete who misses two seasons because of an injury. Those type of cases are usually black and white. There was a lot of gray area in these two individual cases. Both of these cases involved these young men losing an individual who they were very close to before they started their college careers. Those events had such an effect on these young men at that time that their coaching staffs decided it would be better for them to redshirt their true freshman years and help them adjust and move on.
“The main difference between the cases were that in Jason’s case the individual who passed was a family member while, in Korey’s case, the individual was a close personal friend and mentor, but not a relative.”
Weaver started the final 11 games at right tackle for the Golden Eagles last season, and was named to the second-team All-Conference-USA squad.
Williams started the first four games of the 2011 season before suffering a season-ending knee injury against Virginia. In 2010, he led the team in tackles.