The guard graduated with a sociology degree last Saturday.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Youngstown State basketball player Ryan Patton has been awarded another season of eligibility by the NCAA.
Patton was given the extra year because he earned a baccalaureate degree before his fifth year of enrollment.
The NCAA allows student-athletes who did not meet academic standards as freshmen to regain that year of eligibility if they complete requirements for a degree prior to their fifth year.
Patton earned his degree in sociology and took part in graduation ceremonies last Saturday.
Patton, a 5-foot-10 guard who enrolled at YSU in 1997, sat out the 1997-98 season before playing the last three years.
Season stats: Last year he averaged 10.5 points per game, had 163 assists and was named honorable mention All-Mid-Continent Conference.
He has 315 assists in his career to rank fifth on YSU's all-time list.
YSU coach John Robic said Patton worked hard to remain a member of the basketball program.
"We are really proud of the work that Ryan did over the past year enabling him to get his final year of eligibility back," Robic said.
"He was sort of behind and did a terrific job to earn his degree. It is nice to see one of the NCAA rules work where a student-athlete can capitalize and we are happy to get him back."
Patton had to pass 18 hours in the spring and 23 hours over the summer to earn his degree. He said he looks forward to continuing his YSU career.
"It feels amazing and is quite a relief to get this monkey off my back," Patton said. "When the summer started I had 23 hours to go and there was a very long road ahead of me. I tried to buckle down and focus on my studies and I'm happy I got it done.
"It's great to have another year to play for Coach Robic, who I love to play for. I have great teammates and am happy I get the chance to play with them again. There is also the challenge of playing in the new league and we hope to surprise some people this year."