Washington State's Tuel drops appeal for extra year of eligibility

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Jeff Tuel, a Washington State senior quarterback, told The Seattle Times today he is abandoning an attempt to get a fifth season of NCAA eligibility and will focus his efforts on trying to prepare for the NFL draft.

"I feel good about my chances," Tuel said. "I'm a confident individual. Whether I'm drafted or a free agent, I'll train hard and play hard."

The attempt by the school to get Tuel a fifth year revolved around his injury-plagued 2011 season in which he broke a collarbone on the third series of the opening game. Then he came back at midseason against Stanford, and the next week against Oregon State — the seventh game — reinjured the collarbone and was out for the year.

NCAA rules stipulate medical-redshirt seasons are granted only if a specified amount of action is seen in the first half of the season, so Tuel was forced to seek an appeal.

Tuel said continued questions by the NCAA appeared to make the fifth year hinge on whether he felt he had been "mistreated" by the previous staff, or had been forced back into action too early.

"That's basically what they were wanting," he said. "I don't feel comfortable saying I was mistreated. I was never mistreated by them. It's (his decision) a combination of that, that how long this has been drug out. If it goes two, three more weeks and they say no, I'm kind of screwed."

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