Bobcats fans will be encouraged by this news: Star running back Orenzo Davis, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns last season, has been reinstated by the NCAA.
Davis was ruled ineligible in mid-January for an "undisclosed rules violation." He was supposed to sit for the entire 2011 campaign. Montana State immediately appealed the ruling, and Davis has been cleared.
There has never been an official word as to why Davis was in trouble to begin with. Speculation varied from academic problems to improper sales of T-shirts that read "IN McGHEE WE TRUST." Again, it was speculation.
Either way, the crime apparently did not fit the punishment, and Davis is back with the Cats full-time.
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A Friday e-mail from MSU sports information director Bill Lamberty said the following:
"Montana State running back Orenzo Davis' eligibility was reinstated by the NCAA during an appeal, the school learned late Thursday.
"Davis, who rushed for 1,126 yards and earned All-Big Sky Conference Second Team honors as a junior in 2010, was declared ineligible by the NCAA in December for a violation of NCAA eligibility rules. By having his appeal granted, Davis, a senior next fall, is eligible immediately."
The e-mail also said MSU cannot comment further on the case "due to privacy laws."
Davis' return means MSU will have its top running back in tow as they defend their Big Sky Conference title. MSU had picked up Nebraska transfer Tray Robinson as a potential contingency, but both guys -- along with C.J. Palmer, Cody Kirk and others -- give the Cats one of the top running back crops in the league.