CINCINNATI (AP) -The NCAA turned down Cincinnati quarterback Ben Mauk's request for another season of eligibility Thursday, a setback for the up-and-coming Big East team that finished with a No. 17 ranking.
A person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Thursday of the decision. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because an announcement has not been made.
Mauk didn't immediately return a message left on his cell phone.
The quarterback overcame a career-threatening shoulder injury while leading the Bearcats to 10 victories last season. Among them was a 31-21 win over Southern Mississippi in the Papajohns.com Bowl. Mauk threw for 31 touchdowns and 3,121 yards.
for his graduate studies.
Mauk, who has a steel plate in his arm and metal anchors in his shoulder, figured he could help develop other quarterbacks for coach Brian Kelly's spread offense at Cincinnati. Plus, he was closer to his home in Ohio.
By the time football practice started, Mauk's arm was getting better. He had to sit out one game and parts of others because scar tissue in the shoulder was bothering him, but he got stronger as the season went along.
Mauk and a defense that was one of the nation's best at getting turnovers led the Bearcats' revival last season.
Under NCAA rules, a player has four years of sports eligibility that must be used up within a five-year window. Mauk took a redshirt season as a freshman, then missed almost all of his senior season because of the injury.
He asked the NCAA to give him a sixth year to exhaust his eligibility, but the association turned him down on Thursday.
The Bearcats also have former Notre Dame quarterback Demetrius Jones, who enrolled at Cincinnati last September and will be eligible to play next season.
Jones started Notre Dame's season opener against Georgia Tech and fumbled twice in the 33-3 defeat, the worst opening loss in Irish history. He was one of three quarterbacks who failed to get their foundering offense moving.
Later, Notre Dame agreed to release him from his scholarship as long as he transferred to a school that is not on its schedule. Kelly had recruited him out of high school.

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