Louisiana State starting quarterback Zach Mettenberger will be enjoying a lighter course load than most of his teammates and fellow college students this fall.
Mettenberger is taking just one three-hour English course this semester and he can theoretically ace the class without ever stepping inside an actual classroom. This is because the entire class is taught online.
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Mettenberger, who will start for the second consecutive season, is a fifth-year senior and needs only three hours to graduate in General Studies. According to NCAA rules, an athlete must take at least 12 hours and pass at least nine. However, if the athlete needs only three more hours of course credit to graduate in his or her major, he or she can take as few as three hours in a semester.
Mettenberger's only hourly concern as far as the NCAA is to not exceed the governing body's 20-hour rule, which limits the number of hours an athlete can spend on his or her particular sport in a given week. Enforcement of that rule, though, has always been iffy. And in "the league," no such rule exists.
The Tigers signal caller has been taking full advantage of the extra time he now has. Coaches say Mettenberger has been "eating and sleeping football" since the semester began, which has included regular sessions in the film room.
Head coach Les Miles credited Mettenberger's work ethic and the availability for students to attend summer school in order to put himself in this ideal position.
Mettenberger is set to graduate from LSU in December.