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Burger and Thompson Regain Eligibility

October 30, 1987

The National Collegiate Athletic Assn. restored the eligibility of Auburn quarterback Jeff Burger and offensive tackle Jim Thompson Thursday. Burger, however, faces other penalties for failing to cooperate in the school's investigation into a hunting trip the players took with a booster.

Both players were told they must reimburse the booster for the cost of the trip.

Auburn officials said Burger may play Saturday night against Florida but will not start. He was also ordered to perform 40 hours of community service between now and Dec. 31.

Burger was reinstated a day after the NCAA learned he and Thompson violated the "extra benefits" rule by taking a private plane trip to a dove hunt in south Alabama Oct. 11.

Auburn immediately declared both players ineligible and then appealed to the NCAA, which notified school officials that their eligibility could be restored. Both players were kept out of Saturday's 38-7 win over Mississippi State by Coach Pat Dye, who found out about the possible violation only one day before that game.

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