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RichRod not hopeful Davonte’ Neal will be granted hardship waiver

Ireland Navy Notre Dame Football AP

While nothing’s officially official quite yet, it doesn’t appear Arizona will have a highly-rated transfer at its disposal in 2013.

At least for the moment, the only thing official is that Davonte’ Neal is a member of the Wildcats football program.  Speaking at the Pac-12 media days late this past week, though, UA head coach Rich Rodriguez sounded decidedly pessimistic about the wide receiver’s immediate availability, telling the assembled media that “I don’t believe he’s going to be eligible.”

The eligibility question, though, has nothing to do with academics.  Rather, it doesn’t appear the appeal made to the NCAA by the player and school will be successful.

Based on the fact that Neal, a 2012 Notre Dame signee, transferred back to his home state to be closer to his girlfriend and young daughter, an appeal was made for immediate eligibility.  Such an appeal, which normally revolves around a health issue involving a relative, will likely not be enough for the ever-benevolent NCAA to qualify Neal for the hardship waiver he is seeking.

It was announced in late March that Neal would be transferring from South Bend.  Two weeks later, the new dad announced he was moving on the UA.

Neal was a four-star member of the Irish’s 2012 class, rated as the No. 17 receiver in the country.  He played sparingly on offense as a true freshman, catching one pass for minus-five yards.  Neal’s biggest role came on special teams as he returned 21 punts for 46 yards.

Beginning in 2014, Neal will have three seasons to use his remaining three years of eligibility.

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12 Responses to “RichRod not hopeful Davonte’ Neal will be granted hardship waiver”
  1. coachbeck says: Jul 29, 2013 2:04 AM

    They should amend the transfer policy. Give some incentive to be eligible straight away. Tie it to GPA and lack of off the field issues. Or only allow transfers to schools in their home regions.

    Sometimes kids choose schools across the country to realize they wanna be closer to home.

  2. fnc111 says: Jul 29, 2013 4:36 AM

    Why is the media so negative? They always bring up the bad instead of any good. Neal had one carry for seven yards last year too. Why not report that instead of the one catch for -5?

  3. mauldawg says: Jul 29, 2013 5:03 AM

    Dear Rich,
    Couldn’t happen to a better coach. The more things like this that happen to you the better.

  4. seanb20124 says: Jul 29, 2013 7:27 AM

    As a Notre Dame fan, I wish him best of luck and immediate eligibility.

  5. thegamecocker says: Jul 29, 2013 8:29 AM

    You play, you pay…..

  6. mediocrebob says: Jul 29, 2013 9:53 AM

    Neal is gonna be electric in that offense. He would’ve been in south bend too. His lack of punt return production was not his fault.

  7. 11thstreetmafia says: Jul 29, 2013 10:02 AM

    Should have stayed in SB. Or, better yet, should not have got his girlfriend knocked up while still in high school.

  8. thegamecocker says: Jul 29, 2013 10:29 AM


    Yup! Shouldn’t have done the deed with the girlfriend…but then again, ND would never have condoned an abortion……

  9. fnc111 says: Jul 29, 2013 10:51 AM

    Abortion? Speaking of potential abortions, Spurrier would’ve been an ideal candidate.

  10. polegojim says: Jul 29, 2013 11:02 AM

    To you who live in glass houses… he made a mistake

    I agree there should not be eligibility issues outside conferences… since ND will soon be ACC, I don’t see a problem… IF the entire assessment and rules are changed for all.

  11. thegamecocker says: Jul 29, 2013 1:21 PM


    Seems to have struck a nerve there….I guess your team was beaten by The Head Ball Coach. Grin and bare it….

  12. jgater1981 says: Jul 29, 2013 5:08 PM

    As a Notre Dame fan, I hope Neal succeeds. Still, I’m not sure getting your girlfriend pregnant should get you instant eligibility. It’s something you could have helped, unlike sickness. It should be enough to still get an education while being with your child. Good for him for the decision though.

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