No rhyme or reason


The NCAA doesn’t typically reveal why it grants some waivers of the mandatory “year in residence” for transfers and denies others. Illinois tight end Luke Ford is one player left wondering why his waiver request was denied.

Ford — the top-rated recruit in Illinois in the Class of 2018 — transferred from Georgia to Illinois in January, citing his grandparents’ failing health and his desire to play closer to home. He’s from Carterville, Ill., which is about 190 miles south of Champaign, and Illinois is one of the closest major football programs to his hometown.

The NCAA in 2012 established a distance limit of 100 miles in cases like Ford’s.

An Illinois spokesman said in a statement Wednesday that the program is disappointed in the decision to deny Ford’s waiver request and plans to help him appeal.

“My Waiver got denied,” Ford tweeted Wednesday. “Thanks for all your support. It’s all in the Lord’s timing.”

Apparently, it’s also up to the NCAA’s whims.

The NCAA also this week denied a waiver for immediate eligibility for offensive lineman Brock Hoffman, who transferred from Coastal Carolina to Virginia Tech to be closer to his mother. She had surgery in 2017 to remove a brain tumor and now struggles with facial paralysis and hearing and eyesight loss, but Hoffman said on Twitter that the NCAA denied his request because his hometown is five miles outside the 100-mile radius and because it said his mother’s condition is improving.


I don’t care which side of the transfer waiver divide you stand on, if you’re a fair-minded person, this has to be nothing but rank bullshit.  It comes off as little more than a random exercise of power over young men’s lives, young men who are already troubled with family problems.  To insist on enforcing some arbitrary measure is cruel.

I’ll say it again — just give every kid one bite at the immediate transfer apple and be done with it.  What the NCAA has done with these two, especially in light of the Martell decision, seems little better than the pre-portal days when coaches could arbitrarily block players’ movement.  Very sad for Ford and Hoffman, who deserve better.


Filed under The NCAA, Transfers Are For Coaches.

31 responses to “No rhyme or reason

  1. Spike

    No Rhyme or Reason, indeed. Fields, who played last year at UGA gets a waiver/pass because he’s butt hurt about not playing, but this kid gets screwed over.. Nice job NCAA..


    • I think Justin’s father has more to do with this than anyone is letting on.


      • Bigshot

        You wouldn’t believe some of the things I’ve heard.Pablo is a real but case.


      • Bigshot

        Pablo was a real nut case.


        • Add a “t” and you may have had it right the 1st time.

          I’m convinced the personal QB coach that also worked with Haskins was in Dad’s ear as Corch/Day’s proxy the entire season because he knew Haskins was leaving. Fields never even considered anOSU as a high schooler. Why all of the sudden did he want to go to Columbus?


  2. One shot at an unrestricted transfer seems very reasonable. Many college students realize they made the wrong choice. Some decide to stick it out, move forward, and graduate. Some decide to move on to a place that better fits them. Why a football player doesn’t have the same right is beyond me.

    The members of the NCAA need to fix this because they are only enforcing the rules approved by the members.

    Liked by 1 person

    • HIrsuteDawg

      They need to fix this because it reenforces the the fact that what is going on is NOT fair, is NOT in the student-athelete’s best interest, and damages the NCAA image – not that they give a damn.


  3. Sanford222view

    The media needs to keep beating the drum of these two cases and any others like them. The NCAA should be ashamed and embarrassed. If ever a smear campaign is warranted this is it.


  4. Athens Dog

    Total hypocrisy on part of NCAA What a joke


  5. Mayor

    How do we get the NCAA to change? An existential threat, that’s how. If the Power 5 conferences got together and threatened to all leave and form a new organization like the old CFA the NCAA would pivot in a heartbeat.


    • Mayor, the Power 5 is scared to leave because of … March Madness. They are too myopic to realize their baseball and basketball playoff packages may be worth more on a per school basis if they left the other 260 schools behind.

      The other problem is that the rules are approved by the members. That committee is only applying the rules approved by the NCAA’s members.

      The Senator was right (as usual). The Fields case wasn’t the one to watch, but the Martell case was.


    • mp

      Do you think the ambiguity is due to Group of 5 members’ votes? The Power 5 has the biggest voice on setting the rules, and IMO, if they broke away, they would make an attempt to take away power from the players


  6. Aladawg

    I just hope these 2 decisions were made this way because the kids former schools and coaches were whining.


  7. Mike Cooley

    Alright, I’ll ask. Does this mean Ford stays at UGA?


  8. MGW

    What, do they think there’s some other reason a 5* tight end primed to go straight to #1 on the death chart is transferring away from Georgia, to friggin Illinois, for some other reason than his family?

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Bigshot

    Justin Fields should have been denied before anyone else. I hope tOSU loses every game.


  10. Russ

    There’s the old NCAA bullshit we’ve always known.


    • W Cobb Dawg

      Yep, it wouldn’t be the ncaa if they didn’t pull this kind of shit. Being consistently inconsistent is an underappreciated art form.

      Of course, its the schools that pull out all the stops and fight them that succeed. If you roll over like a Greg Mediocrity, the ncaa will pull this shit all day long. But fight back and the ncaa turns to jello.


  11. Bigshot

    May tOSU and Justin Fields lose every game.


  12. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    Apparently, it’s also up to the NCAA’s whims.

    Like Luke said in his tweet: it’s all in the Lord’s timing. 😉


  13. CB

    It’s almost like the NCAA is building a case against itself. Did Ford file a new appeal or did they just review the original one? Mars seemed to think a different filing would be approved pretty easily.


  14. mwo

    N C A A


  15. I would not have minded it at all if the two QB’s scared of the competition after just one year would have been denied. They should have been. But the Ford kid should not have been. He had a legitimate reason to transfer.
    Completely backwards.


  16. Bulldog Joe

    Fields and Martell are expected to draw ratings for upcoming marquee games.

    Ford and Hoffman not so much.

    Follow the money.