USF seeking sixth year for center Lawson
USF women's basketball coach Jose Fernandez, preparing for a major transition after losing four senior starters from his WNIT champions, could be getting one of those veteran leaders back for another year.
The Bulls are petitioning to the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility for senior center Jessica Lawson, who missed back-to-back seasons after suffering a knee injury in 2005 while playing at California. In order to be granted a sixth year of eligibility, a player must have proof of two seasons lost to injury; the NCAA is expected to decide on her appeal in the next two weeks.
Lawson averaged 10.6 points and 6.7 rebounds a game for USF and tied for the second-highest scorer during the Bulls' five-game run to the WNIT championship. She had a 14-point, 14-rebound game against St. Bonaventure, going 7-for-7 from the floor.
Getting another season with Lawson would help the Bulls in the post, where backups Porche Grant and Melissa Dalembert will be back as seniors. USF also has guards Jasmine Wynne and Janae Stokes, who split time in the starting lineup, returning as well, plus a recruiting class that already includes seven players.