I had another blog set for this morning but the news changed everything. And that’s good. So here we go:
The NCAA is wrong on the Jeremiah Masoli ruling. Here’s why.
The NCAA has refused to grant former Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli a waiver to be eligible to play at Ole Miss this season. Ole Miss has appealed the ruling but it is unlikely that the appeal will be successful. I reached out to Coach Houston Nutt this morning and I would have to say that he is not optimistic.
Here is what I see: You can make an ethical argument over whether or not Masoli, who was kicked off the Oregon team, should be allowed to play right away at Ole Miss. The fact is he got a second chance from Oregon coach Chip Kelly and he blew it. So if you want to take the position that Ole Miss should not have taken the kid in the first place, I respect that point of view.
But this is not an ethical argument. It is a legal argument. There is a system in place that allows athletes who have graduated with eligibility remaining to transfer and become eligible immediately at another school. You simply have to fulfill the requirements, which Masoli did.
Ole Miss will make the argument that the rules do not require the athlete to be in good standing with a team, but with the university where he last attended. Masoli graduated from Oregon so therefore he was in good standing with the school.
The NCAA rule says something about the transfer being for academic reasons. But the requirement states that the transferring student must enroll in a graduate program not available at his former institution. Masoli did that.
Again, you can make the argument that Ole Miss should not have a taken the kid. I’ve got no problem with that.
But I’m not comfortable with the NCAA being able to arbitrarily say that this kid has a legitimate reason to transfer and that kid does not. They should not have that kind of discretionary power.
There has to be a system and a set of rules. You either follow the rules or you don’t. If you follow the rules then the result should be predictable. If not, then you should get rid of the rule.
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