Iowa transfer situation leaves wiggle room

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Illinois quarterback Jon Beutjer was
granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA on Friday.

Beutjer, who started seven games last season before being
sidelined by a back injury, had asked for the extra year before
last season started because of the circumstances surrounding his
transfer from Iowa in 2001.

Beutjer began his college career with the Hawkeyes in 1999, but
left the school after sustaining a concussion during a fight with
his teammate and roommate over payment of a cable television bill.
Beutjer said he was disappointed with how Iowa coaches handled the

The NCAA's Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee announced its
decision Friday.

"This is a great opportunity, and I am just very thankful to
Coach (Ron) Turner, the university and the NCAA for being so
supportive of my desire to play another year of collegiate
football," Beutjer said in a statement issued by the school.

After his transfer, Beutjer sat out the 2001 season at Illinois
as required by NCAA rules. He became the Illini's starting
quarterback midway through the 2002 season and started the first
seven games last season before a herniated disc caused him to miss
the last five games.

He has passed for 4,008 yards and 31 touchdowns in two seasons.

"We certainly are glad to have him for another season, and he
obviously adds a lot to our team," Turner said. "I know this is
something he really wanted."