Texas Tech C Tony Morales hasn’t yet begun his seventh season with the program, but compliance office officials will speak with him about whether he wants to submit an NCAA waiver requesting an eighth, according to a report from the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
Morales missed his freshman season in 2011 after sustaining an injury in the offseason. And then the same thing happened in 2012.
Morales missed four complete seasons because of injuries sustained before the season — a torn right labrum in 2011, a torn ACL in 2012, a torn left labrum in 2013 and another knee injury in 2014. In 2015, four years after he originally signed to play with Texas Tech, Morales was healthy enough to start six games for the Red Raiders.
He was granted a sixth season of eligibility in March 2016 and a seventh in November 2016 after starting 12 games at center during his “sophomore” season.
According to the Avalanche-Journal, Morales said last year he wants to apply for all the extra eligibility he can.
“I worked too hard for too long,” he said in October 2016. “I didn’t rehab for four years to turn down eligibility.”
NCAA athletes are given five years to play four seasons of eligibility, with waivers for a sixth season usually accepted for injury-prone athletes. Including Morales, the NCAA has granted a seventh year to just five football players and one basketball player since 2001.
An eighth year of eligibility for Morales would likely be an NCAA first in any sport, according to an NCAA official.