You could probably sense this one coming.
When the NCAA levied additional sanctions on the Ole Miss football program, including a 2018 bowl ban, the university confirmed that any player heading into their final season of eligibility would be permitted to transfer with no restrictions. That meant, of course, that those with more than a year of eligibility remaining would not be free to move about the country.
Not only would they have been barred from transferring to any other SEC school, but also any other school on the Rebels’ future non-conference schedule throughout their respective eligibility window.
After an outcry from the media and, especially, as noted by Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports HERE, parents of those players affected by the restrictions, the university has abruptly reversed course and will now allow any player unfettered access to speak to any other program they want in considering a transfer.
“None of the students objected directly to us about those restrictions and if there were objections and a legitimate reason, normally what we would do is work with the student-athlete and their family,” athletic director Ross Bjork said according to the Jackson Clarion-Ledger.
“Taking the student-athletes best interest into account, coach (Matt Luke) and I, we talked about it [Tuesday] morning and so to be consistent, we’re removing any restrictions on their permission to contact for those who have requested permission.”
Even ahead of that reversal, the Michigan football program had set a course to potentially pilfer the Ole Miss roster.
It had been reported this past weekend that Patterson would be exploring a transfer from Ole Miss and that Michigan was the likely favorite for a landing spot.
A consensus five-star 2016 recruit, Patterson was rated by 247Sports.com as the No. 1 pro-style quarterback in the country and the No. 4 player overall on its composite board. After starting the last three games of his true freshman season, Patterson started the first seven games of 2017 before going down with a season-ending knee injury.
In addition to Patterson, Anderson (true sophomore) and Jefferson (redshirt sophomore), at least three other Rebel football players — true sophomore linebacker Jarrion Street, redshirt freshman wide receiver Tre Nixon, redshirt sophomore cornerback Jalen Julius — have all signaled their intention to pursue at least the possibility of a transfer.