Katie Hnida, the first woman to play in a Division I-A football game, was awarded an extra season of eligibility at New Mexico by the NCAA on Friday. Her eligibility was to have expired after the 2003 season, but the NCAA granted her request for a medical waiver.
Earlier this year, Hnida said she was raped by a teammate and harassed by other players while a walk-on at Colorado in 2000. Hers is one of several charges of assault linked to the Colorado football program.
In February, Colorado Coach Gary Barnett was suspended indefinitely for criticizing Hnida's play. Barnett had said she was "not only a girl" but also a "terrible" player. She sat out the 1999 and 2000 seasons because of mononucleosis and severe throat and tonsil infections, then left Colorado. She spent a school year at a junior college, then transferred to New Mexico in 2002 and walked onto the football team.
Hnida made her historic debut when she attempted an extra point for the Lobos in the 2002 Las Vegas Bowl against UCLA. Her kick was blocked. She made two extra points during a 72-8 victory over Texas State San Marcos last Aug. 30.