In yesterday’s post about the Hoffman kid being denied his transfer waiver, I, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, advised Luke Ford as follows: “Luke, if you haven’t hired Mars yet, you might want to think about doing so.”
Turns out that might not have been as cheeky as I suggested.
First of all, you’ve probably seen the news about Ford’s waiver request also being denied by the NCAA.
What you may not have seen was that Hoffman’s request was botched by Virginia Tech.
It turns out Virginia Tech — probably unwittingly — filed a waiver request that didn’t fit Hoffman’s circumstance. We know thatin the past, but according to attorney Tom Mars, Hoffman would have been better off pursuing a standard waiver appeal to be eligible immediately at VT.
That would be the same avenue that recently got quarterbacks Shea Patterson (Michigan), Justin Fields (Ohio State) and Tate Martell (Miami) — Patterson and Fields were both Mars’ clients — eligible immediately.
… Mars indicated Hoffman needs only to file a different transfer waiver appeal citing what the NCAA calls “documented mitigating circumstances that are outside the student-athlete’s control.”
The most obvious strategy would be to cite Coastal Carolina’s coaching change as a mitigating circumstance, Mars said. Chanticleers coach Joe Moglia retired during the offseason. That strategy, utilizing Urban Meyer’s retirement, was successful in getting Martell immediate clearance to transfer from Ohio State and play immediately for Miami.
“From what I know about Brock’s family situation, I believe the NCAA would be far more willing to grant him a waiver under this exception to the year-in-residence requirement,” Mars said.
… Mars indicated that the NCAA’s hands were tied in this particular situation once Virginia Tech filed a family hardship waiver. Since 2012, the NCAA has required the destination of any athlete filing such a waiver to be within a 100-mile radius of the school.
Hoffman was told part of the reason the waiver application was denied is the family’s Statesville home is 105 miles from Virginia Tech.
Perhaps someone in Virginia Tech’s compliance department needs to learn how to read a map.
Anyway, Mars isn’t speaking as some disinterested outside bystander there. The Hoffman family has already taken the road I suggested for Ford.
Mars, who has recently become a specialist in this area, told CBS Sports on Wednesday that he is consulting with the Hoffman family “about next steps in the waiver process.”
“If I had a chance, I’d tell [Hoffman], ‘This isn’t game over for you, Brock,'” said Mars. “In three or four weeks, if Virginia Tech moves this forward on a separate track, he’ll be granted a waiver.”
Someone in the Ford family ought to pick up the phone, right now. No joke.
UPDATE: All transfer waiver roads lead to Mars ($$).
Thomas Mars, who represented Justin Fields and other notable transfers in their successful waiver requests, confirmed to The Athletic that he has spoken with Tim Ford, the father of the player. Mars did not represent Ford during the initial waiver process, though he was in touch with his father. But after the NCAA denied the hardship waiver on Wednesday, Tim Ford reached out again to Mars, and the two were set to talk more on Thursday.