After sitting out the entire 2013 season following a school sanctioned suspension Boise State will welcome back defensive tackle Deuce Mataele. Mataele was set to return to the football program for practices in 2014, but he will not be eligible to play for the Broncos until 2015 according to the NCAA. He will have one final year of eligibility on scholarship.
According to The Idaho Statesman, Boise State confirmed the status of Mataele on Friday. Mataele did not play a game for Boise State in 2013 after being ruled ineligible following a suspension by the university for the fall semester. The NCAA ruled Mataele ineligible following a bit of confusion regarding his academic status from a junior college. Per The Idaho Statesman report, former Boise State head coach Chris Petersen stated the problem was an academic issue with Mataele’s junior college, although the extent of the complication was not revealed by Petersen.
An NCAA investigation in to the situation accused Mataele of providing false information to an online college regarding prerequisite course information. Due to the false grade reporting, Mataele’s grade was adjusted to dip him below the minimum required course work to be eligible to compete as a student-athlete. Boise state attempted to appeal the NCAA’s decision, which noted Mateele was suspended by the junior college, but it was a futile effort.
Mataele was previously thought to be a strong candidate for a starting job on Boise State’s defensive line. He will have plenty of time to get adjusted to the Boise State program and compete for a starting job in 2015.