QB Shea Patterson, other Ole Miss transfers at standstill awaiting eligibility ruling
Six former Rebels are looking to be made immediately eligible after transferring out of the program
The quarterback and five other former Ole Miss teammates requested transfer waivers after Ole Miss was hit with NCAA sanctions on Dec. 1, 2017.
Over three months later, the NCAA, Ole Miss and Michigan are still in process of determining whether those players sit out the typical year in residence for transfers or receive a waiver to be eligible immediately for the 2018 season.
The players' appeals contend they were misled by former Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze about the scope of the NCAA investigation.
Michigan is among the schools anxious for resolution. The Wolverines begin spring practice March 23. It's no secret Jim Harbaugh would love for Patterson, a difference-making quarterback, to be available immediately.
On Feb. 26, Mars said the NCAA received what is being referred to as the full application package from Michigan regarding Patterson's waive request. However, until Ole Miss officially receives the same package from the NCAA, a 10-day waiting period for Ole Miss to review the request doesn't even begin.
Complicating matters, Ole Miss actually received that package as a courtesy from Michigan. Because it didn't officially come from the NCAA, the 10-day clock did not start ticking.
"So, from a technical rules perspective, despite having all the information for the past two weeks, Old Miss could continue to keep its position on the Shea Patterson waiver request to itself for at least another two weeks," Mars said.
"In the meantime, as everyone knows, the process is at a standstill."
Once Ole Miss officially receives the package from the NCAA, it has 10 business days to respond. It can make a favorable response, a negative response or no response. The NCAA would then rule at some point after.
The players produced smartphone and text interactions that seem to support their claims that Freeze misled them.
Mars is representing all six players. Ole Miss and Michigan officials didn't immediately return request for comment.
"For reasons that aren't entirely clear to me, I learned [Sunday] that the NCAA had not yet sent a duplicate copy of the waiver application package to Ole Miss," Mars said.
Mars represented former Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt in his breach of contract suit against the program. The parties eventually settled.
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