Aug. 17, 1999
Berkeley, CA - The Cal football team received good news this morning when it was learned the NCAA has cleared offensive guard Yauger Williams (6-6, 300) for a sixth year of eligibility this fall.
The talented lineman was transported from Berkeley to the team's training camp in Turlock in mid-day and he was scheduled to participate in Tuesday afternoon's practice.
Williams had retired from the sport last August due to persistent knee problems. However, six months away from football caused his knees to feel much better and he petitioned the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility in the late spring. After being initially denied his request by the NCAA staff, Cal and Williams appealed to the NCAA Sub-committee for Student-Athlete Reinstatement and provided additional documentation about his injury history. That committee approved his appeal today.
"I'm really thrilled for both Yauger and our team," said head coach Tom Holmoe. "He's a tremendous young man who went through an agonizing decision to retire last summer when his knees kept acting up. This gives him a chance to finish up his college career in a great way.
"It's also a big deal for our football team. He'll add leadership and experience to our offense. He's been in the trenches during some big games as a starter and that's an important element for our young offensive line."
Holmoe said it was likely that Williams would play at guard, although he also has some background at a tackle position.
The head coach also singled out several true freshmen for their outstanding play during the first week of training camp, including center Nolan Bluntzer, guard Scott Tercero and tackle Mark Wilson. Bluntzer has been getting a lot of work at the center position, as starter John Romero missed the Tuesday practices with a minor injury.
Cal is scheduled to scrimmage at Cal State Stanislaus on Wednesday, August 18, beginning at 4:30 p.m.