NCAA denies TE Luke Ford immediate eligibility at Illinois to be with ailing grandfather

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The NCAA has denied a family hardship waiver filed by former Georgia TE Luke Ford for immediately eligibility at Illinois, Ford announced on Twitter on Wednesday evening. Ford cited his decision to transfer to to the Illini in order to be closer to his ailing grandparents

"We're all disappointed Luke Ford's waiver request for immediate eligibility was denied," Illinois spokesman Kent Brown said in a statement obtained by 247Sports. "There is an appeal process that we intend to help Luke explore."

Ford originally hails from Carterville, Illinois, which is roughly 193 miles from Illinois' campus in Champaign. NCAA rules say that players who apply for a waiver to be closer to home must go to a school that's within a 100-mile radius of camps. According to 247Sports, the NCAA also denied the waiver because Ford's grandfather is not part of his "nuclear family."

Ford was a four-star prospect in the Class of 2017 and was the top-ranked player in the state of Illinois. He appeared in nine games for the Bulldogs in 2018, catching one pass for 4 yards.

The news comes just one day after the NCAA denied a similar family hardship waiver to future Virginia Tech offensive lineman Brock Hoffman, who left Coastal Carolina to be closer to his mother. CBS Sports senior writer Dennis Dodd reported Wednesday that Hoffman would have been better off pursuing a standard undergraduate waiver similar to the ones filed by Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields and Miami quarterback Tate Martell.

Ford will have three years of eligibility remaining once he takes the field for the Illini. 

College Football Writer

Barrett Sallee has been a member of the sports media in various aspects since 2001. He is currently a college football writer for CBS Sports, analyst for CBS Sports HQ and host for the SiriusXM college... Full Bio

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