NCAA grants medical hardship waiver for OU’s Dvoracek

Tuesday, December 14th 2004, 6:09 pm
By: News On 6

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- Oklahoma's Dusty Dvoracek had been granted a medical hardship waiver by the NCAA, which will allow the defensive tackle who was kicked off the team in September to play a fifth season with the Sooners.

Dvoracek, a third-team All-American last season, was dismissed after he was involved in a bar fight in Norman.

Oklahoma last week applied for a medical hardship on Dvoracek's behalf, but it was denied by the Big 12 Conference. Upon appeal, the NCAA's reinstatement staff granted the waiver Monday.

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops wouldn't say when Dvoracek would be reinstated, but it won't be before the Sooners play Southern California in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 4.

"We will not visit this situation until we're back in school for the second semester," Stoops said in a statement Tuesday.

To qualify for a medical hardship, a student-athlete must be unable to compete because of injury or illness for a portion of a season and have documentation from a medical doctor, according to NCAA bylaws.

It is against NCAA policy to discuss the specific illness under which a student-athlete qualifies, said Jennifer Kearns, associate director of public relations with the NCAA.

Since his dismissal from the team, Dvoracek has undergone anger-management and alcohol-related counseling.

Dvoracek, who was second on the team with seven sacks last season, had three tackles and a fumble recovery in two games this season.