If Zach Mettenberger struggles this season at quarterback for LSU, don't look for him to blame academic stresses. According to USA Today, the fifth-year senior is taking just one class this fall for three credit hours, and is taking it online.
Yes, the long-standing NCAA rule requiring a course load of at least 12 credit hours for student-athletes remains in place. However, an exception in the rule allows student-athletes who need fewer than 12 hours to graduate to take only the necessary classes. In the case of Mettenberger, a fifth-year senior, he needs only three hours of English for his diploma.
Mettenberger didn't even try to compare his class schedule to those of his teammates. What would be the point?
"I woke up about eight, ran some errands, went to Dunkin' Donuts, came over here (to the football facility), watched some film with my coffee," Mettenberger said of his (first) day. "About 11, I went to lunch, came back and watched film until practice. It's just like if I was a coach or in the league (the NFL). I'm up here doing my homework, which is football pretty much."
What still applies, however, is the 20-hour rule, limiting student-athletes to 20 weekly hours devoted to their sport.
"This is his call, but he's not going to be able to sit in there with (offensive coordinator) Cam (Cameron) and be coached all the time, absolutely not," LSU coach Les Miles said. "As a part of his 20 hours, he'll be able to get real quality meeting time and go confirm the meeting by grabbing the film himself and watching it."