One way or another, the playing status of any player choosing to transfer out of Ole Miss will be resolved before the start of the 2018 college football season. Or so we hope. As it stands as of right now, a handful of players who have decided to get out of Oxford are still hanging in eligibility limbo awaiting a decision on whether or not exemptions will be approved to provide instant eligibility for the upcoming football season.
Among the players who have left the Rebels for other opportunities as the Ole Miss program has a dark cloud looming over it, quarterback Shea Patterson is still unsure if he will be suiting up for Michigan this fall or staying stranded on the sideline. According to Patterson’s lawyer to Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports, Patterson is currently in a holding pattern with his waiver request.
The hold-up at this point in time is Ole Miss has not received from the NCAA documents regarding Patterson’s waiver request filed by Michigan to the NCAA. Ole Miss is given 10 days to review the documents to respond to the NCAA, but those documents must come from the NCAA. Because this is the NCAA, however, the fact Michigan sent copies of the waiver request directly to Ole Miss means nothing since the documentation must come directly from the NCAA for security purposes.
The hope is the NCAA does provide the necessary documents to Ole Miss soon, and that Ole Miss will have a response ready to file back as soon as it receives since it has had the documentation on hand already courtesy of Michigan.
Of course, this is assuming Ole Miss does right by Patterson and any other player feeling misled by the university during the recruiting process and grants their approval to proceed with their transfer and waiver for immediate eligibility. There has been no guarantee that will happen.
Michigan opens spring football practices on March 23 and head coach Jim Harbaugh would benefit from knowing if Patterson will be eligible for the fall or not by then. Of course, even if the decision looms into the summer, Patterson will still have plenty of time to work with the Wolverines to prepare to potentially start in Ann Arbor by the start of the season.