More about Maka getting his sixth season

About how many of his coaches and teammates thought that the Sugar Bowl was his last game with the Warriors, Maka said:
“I was starting to feel that way, too.” (HA)

HA Note: “At issue was Maka’s eligibility clock. The NCAA allows a student-athlete five years to play four seasons. Maka was at the University of Arizona for the 2003 and 2004 seasons. But he did not play a down in either year because of a knee injury and a financial situation. He played for College of San Mateo during the 2005 and 2006 seasons before enrolling at UH in January 2007. He was a defensive end for the Warriors last season. He appealed for a sixth year, citing the physical and financial hardships that prevented him from playing at Arizona.”

HA Note: “Last week, Maka was able to secure additional information from his doctor and family financial records. Monday, UH compliance officer Amanda Paterson submitted the new information to the NCAA. The NCAA ruled that Maka would be allowed 14 days of practice while the new evidence was reviewed. Maka yesterday practiced, without pads, for the first time this season. After practice, he was told his appeal was approved.”

About what he thought when Mack told him he could play this season, Maka said:
“At first, I thought coach (Greg McMackin) was joking around. He had me meet with Amanda afterward. That’s when I realized it was real. … I’m eligible now. Full-time eligible.” (HA)

“I was still in disbelief. I thought (McMackin) was joking with me at first. But when I talked to Amanda, I just couldn’t help but hug everybody.” (HSB)

Happy that Maka can play this season, Ray Hisatake (Maka’s JC teammate at San Mateo) said:
“I’m happy he got his (extra) year. (The wait) was a little too much. He’s been fighting this thing since last spring.” (HA)

Happy that Maka can play this season, Josh Leonard (one of Maka’s closest friends) said:
“This is great news.” (HA)

Happy that Maka can play this season, Mack said:
“He’s a great kid. He was one of our best ends last year. I’m happy for Francis.” (HA)

About his family’s reaction to the news, Maka said:
“I’m trying to get ahold of my dad so I can tell him because he’s the one who put in most of the work with all this. My mom was ecstatic, my girlfriend started crying.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Maka appeared in eight games last season and recorded 17 tackles, including a sack, before a broken leg sidelined him for UH’s last four regular-season games. He returned for the Sugar Bowl and it appeared that would be his final UH game when his initial appeal was denied. Maka’s appeal was based on two years he sat out due to medical reasons while attending Arizona. A staff change in the Wildcats program made it difficult to obtain the documents he needed for his case, but he submitted a “revised statement” on Monday.”

About how the NCAA ruled very quickly once he got the proper documents, Maka said:
“I was surprised at how quick it went.” (HSB)

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