University of Tulsa football student-athlete Bryan Burnham has been denied a sixth season of eligibility by the NCAA Division I Appeals Committee, the school was informed today.
On March 19th, the University's petition seeking an eligibility waiver for the fifth-year senior was denied by the NCAA Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee. Tulsa immediately filed an appeal with the NCAA Division I Appeals Committee.
The general NCAA eligibility rule states that student-athletes must complete four years of eligibility within a five-year time period.
Burnham suffered a season ending ACL right knee injury early in the fourth quarter of the 2012 season opener, after already catching a team-high nine passes for 90 yards against Iowa State. In 2008, Burnham was sidelined with an illness that prevented him from playing that season
"This is not the response we had hoped to receive from the NCAA. We're extremely disappointed, but we're more disappointed for Bryan than us. The fact that he only played three quarters in 2012 is upsetting because he prepared so hard for his senior season," said Tulsa Head Coach Bill Blankenship. "Even since the injury, Bryan has done everything needed to get himself in shape for an opportunity to join his teammates on the field."
"It is a disappointment. The reason I wanted to come back and play again was for my teammates," said Burnham. "I appreciate everything TU has done for me, not only in trying to secure a sixth year, but through my entire career. I am ready to move on now."
The 6'2", 197-pound receiver from Moorestown, New Jersey played in 25 career games and started 14 of those contests. Burnham caught 63 passes for 940 yards and nine touchdowns in his career. He began his career on the defensive side of the ball before moving to offense in the fall of 2010.
Burnham was Tulsa's leading receiver in 2011 with 54 receptions for 850 yards and nine touchdowns. He had three 100+ receiving games in 2011, including a career-best 146 yards and one TD on 10 catches against Marshall. Burnham also had 113 yards against BYU in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl and 101 yards against North Texas.
Burnham received his bachelor's degree in History this past December and has been pursuing a second degree in organizational studies.