Were it not for the seriousness of the situation surrounding it, the latest news coming out of Waco could be described as utterly laughable.
As most of Baylor’s 2017 recruiting class continues to jump ship, at least seven members of the Bears’ signed, sealed and delivered 2016 class are looking to do the same. One of those had been Devin Duvernay, a four-star wide receiver who was looking to be released from his National Letter of Intent he signed with BU this past February.
The only problem, at least on BU’s end? They botched the clerical handling of Duvernay’s NLI, failing to submit his paperwork as required. From ESPN.com:
Sources with both the Big 12 and one conference school confirmed to ESPN that Duvernay did not have a valid NLI. Susan Peal, the director of the National Letter of Intent program told ESPN that she could not comment on the specific case.
According to NLI provisions, Baylor had to file Duvernay’s NLI to the conference office within 14 days of the date of the final signature, otherwise the NLI would be deemed invalid.
Henry Duvernay discovered the error while attempting to submit his son’s release request. He was unable to access Devin’s account with the NLI database and reached out to Baylor and the NLI office for their help.
Henry Duvernay told ESPN that Peal looked into the situation and determined Baylor did not send in Devin’s signed NLI.
As a result of BU’s error, Duvernay, again per the father, will not be required to receive a release and is technically a recruiting free agent, free to sign with any school and be eligible to compete immediately in 2016.
“[Peal] said Devin is not in the system,” Duvernay’s father told ESPN.com. “She had her people verify that, and he is free to go.”
BU subsequently confirmed that Duvernay is now free to be recruited by other schools.
And, with it again open season on the receiver, Texas and TCU are viewed as the favorites to land the free agent. According to ESPN, Duvernay still has one official visit he can take.
Donovan Duvernay, Devin Duvernay’s twin brother, also signed with the Bears this past February. Unlike his twin, however, Donovan Duvernay’s NLI was handled properly, meaning he will have to receive a release from his scholarship, which the family has already requested.