Sypniewski Gets Sixth-Year
BOULDER - University of Colorado tight end Quinn Sypniewski has been awarded a sixth-year of eligibility and will return this fall, head coach Gary Barnett announced Friday.
Barnett also said that junior safety J.J. Billingsley, who also was awarded a medical redshirt year after undergoing a pair of knee surgeries last year, has been suspended indefinitely from the team due to his academics.
Sypniewski is the first CU player in history to be awarded the rare sixth year, thus the first to have a chance to play three "senior years." He played as a true freshman in 2000, and then was on a four-year career course as a sophomore in 2001 and junior in 2002. But in 2003, he missed most of camp with a chronic toe injury and attempted to play in just two games but was ineffective, as he could not play at full speed. He has surgery to repair a stress fracture in the toe after the year and received a medical redshirt for the year.
He was healthy in camp last fall, and was slowly regaining his old form when he suffered a lower leg break/high ankle sprain in practice leading up to CU's Big 12 Conference opener at Missouri. He played in just the first three games of the year, catching three balls for 28 yards.
He'll be the first player to have his CU career span over six years since the late 1940s, when several players spanned six or seven years after starting earlier in the decade and then serving the United States in the military during World War II.
Billingsley played in just two games last fall in his third season on the team, or his true junior year. He had arthroscopic knee surgery in August and came back to play in the opener against Colorado State, only to suffer severe swelling in the operated knee. He missed the next two games and came back to play at Missouri, enduring similar pain following that game. He eventually underwent an additional surgery and missed the remainder of the season. He had nine tackles for the season, six against Missouri, but one of his three against CSU was one of the season's biggest, as it came on the Buff 3-yard line on the game's final play to preserve CU's 27-24 win.
Other than the suspension, Barnett is not announcing what Billingsley needs to accomplish to be reinstated to the team.
CU is still awaiting word on two other players seeking medical redshirts, junior linebacker Chris Hollis (neck/spinal cord) and freshman wide receiver Patrick Williams (broken bones in both hands).