WAC notebook: Clark denied a sixth year

BY DARRELL MOODY

Appeal Sports Writer

SALT LAKE CITY " The NCAA has denied Erics Clark a sixth year of football eligibility, according to Nevada football coach Chris Ault.

The decision ends a long process by Nevada officials that started after last season.

Clark, a fifth-year senior, suffered an injury early in the year and then came down with pneumonia after that and lost a substantial amount of weight as a result of that. He never returned to the field.

Clark had five tackles and a sack last season in just two games. He was expected to battle sophomores Dontay Moch and Kevin Basped for playing time this season in the Pack's 4-3 defensive scheme.

Basped finished with 50 tackles and four sacks in 13 games, and Moch finished with 13 tackles and 3.5 sacks in 13 games.

The toughest thing for Clark was waiting around for a decision. He had already graduated, and turned down job offers because he wanted to come back and play football.

Ault said that Clark moved back to the San Diego area.

ALREADY AT WORK

Karl Benson, the WAC commissioner, said that the pickings could be slim when it comes to finding an opponent for the WAC in the Roadys Humanitarian Bowl in 2009.

The Atlantic Coast Conference has decided to sever ties with the WAC bowl after this season.

Benson said he's already talked to people around the country. The Mountain West is a good possibility depending on the team. Schools like Utah and BYU would certainly draw better than a San Diego State, Air Force or UNLV.

Benson doesn't think the Pac-10 would be interested, at least not at the present time.

ON THE TUBE

The WAC will be on television 18 times this season with 10 of those being shown on ESPN as part of the conference's contract with the sports cable power.

Louisiana Tech hosts Mississippi State on Aug. 30 on ESPN2, and then Fresno State visits Rutgers the next day on ESPN. The Bulldogs' games at home against Wisconsin, at home against Nevada (Nov. 7) on the road at San Jose State and at home against Boise State are also being shown.

Fresno State seems to be the consensus among writers and coaches as the team to beat in the WAC this year.

HIGH FLYER

Chris Petersen missed the welcome party the WAC threw Tuesday night, and with good reason.

According to Boise State SID Todd Miles, the 44-year-old Petersen is flying with the Blue Angels today in Twin Falls, Idaho.

Petersen will be in Salt Lake on Thursday to speak with the media as part of the WAC Media Days festivities.

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