Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Temple's Martin-Oguike granted added year of eligibility

PHILADELPHIA – Temple University defensive end Praise Martin-Oguikehas been granted an extra year of eligibility by the NCAA.

Martin-Oguike, a Woodbridge, N.J. native, began his collegiate career at Temple in 2011, playing in seven games as a true freshman. The following May he was accused of rape and was subsequently suspended by the University as well as the football team.

After nearly 18 months, he was found to be falsely accused and the charges were dropped in October of 2013.

Martin-Oguike was reinstated to the University in January of 2014, and asked to rejoin the football team. By the season opener he had earned a starting position at defensive end. During the 2014 season, he started 11 games and led the Owls with 7 1/2 sacks and five forced fumbles, earning second team All-American Athletic Conference honors.

“I said throughout this process that I just want to get back to the life I had before,” said Martin-Oguike. “There was a path that I was on, to play four years of college football and get my college degree, then hopefully, have an opportunity to play at the next level. I’m working towards that goal and I’m very thankful that I’m back on that path.”

Martin-Oguike will now enter the 2015 season as a redshirt-junior meaning that he is eligible to play football during the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

“I can’t imagine what Praise and his family were put through from the time those accusations were made," Temple coach Matt Rhule said. "Hopefully he - and the rest of our players for that matter - learn from that experience how close they are to having the privilege of playing college athletics taken away. Fortunately, in this instance, Praise has been able to restore his life and his reputation. He has done everything we’ve asked of him since returning to the team.”
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