By Chadd Cripe
© 2014 Idaho Statesman
Defensive tackle Deuce Mataele has returned to the Boise State football program, the school confirmed Friday, but can’t play until 2015. That will be his only season of eligibility.
Mataele was declared ineligible by Boise State before the 2013 season and was suspended from school for the fall semester. The school appealed his ineligibility to the NCAA. The NCAA agreed to allow him to return to the program to practice in 2014 and to play in 2015.
Mataele is back on scholarship.
Mataele is not listed on the team’s official roster, but he was included in the list of diving participants in the annual Big Splash event at Saturday’s swimming and diving meet.
Mataele joined the Broncos in January 2013 out of Mt. San Antonio College. He was so impressive in spring ball that he was listed as a projected starter going into fall camp.
However, he never practiced with the Broncos in the fall. Then-coach Chris Petersen said in late August that Mataele was not enrolled in school because of an academic issue tied to his junior college. Petersen said it was not something Boise State had missed.
The school has not said what happened. However, in a list of secondary NCAA violations provided to the Idaho Statesman, was this from Aug. 5, 2013 — the day fall camp began: “Student-athlete provided false information to an online college to show a prerequisite math course was completed in order to gain access to a college-level math course through that school. The online college discovered false information and rescinded grade received in the college-level math course. After grade was adjusted, student-athlete fell short of the NCAA’s transferable math requirement and the student-athlete had violated bylaw 10.1 by submitting false information to the online college. … 1. Student-athlete was suspended from the institution. 2. Student-athlete was declared ineligible by the NCAA pending student-athlete reinstatement.”
Bylaw 10.1 covers unethical conduct.
Saturday’s swim meet begins at noon at the West Boise YMCA. The diving competition is at 12:40 p.m. featuring defensive linemen Justin Taimatuia and Mataele and offensive linemen Andrew Tercek, Marcus Hentry, Mason Hampton and Kellen Buhr. A relay race between the defensive backs (Donte Deayon, Chaz Anderson, Chanceller James and Darian Thompson) and specialists (Sean Wale, Kevin Keane, Tyler Rausa and Tanner Shipley) is at 1:30 p.m.
Fifty-five Boise State athletes, including 31 football players, made the Mountain West all-academic teams for last fall. Boise State had the most football players honored.
All-academic honorees must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.
Here is the full list of Boise State selections.