It’s Christmas in April for Jim Harbaugh and Michigan.
As has long been expected, the school confirmed that the NCAA has approved a waiver for quarterback Shea Patterson, allowing the Ole Miss transfer to be eligible for the 2018 season instead of sitting out a year.
“The NCAA Division I Council recently approved an amendment to transfer waiver guidelines for student-athletes seeking immediate eligibility following a transfer,” Michigan said in a release. “This amendment was effective April 18, for transferring student-athletes who are seeking immediate eligibility for the 2018-19 academic year.
“Following notification of this change, the University of Mississippi promptly reached out to the University of Michigan, to discuss how these new standards could impact the University of Mississippi’s support of a transfer student-athlete’s desire to compete immediately at the University of Michigan. The University of Mississippi and the University of Michigan have worked together over the last several days in conjunction with the NCAA national office staff, and with a focus on the best interest of the student-athlete, to put forward a new waiver application. That new application was submitted this week by the University of Michigan and supported by both schools. The University of Michigan has withdrawn its previous waiver application and all associated materials in favor of this new, cooperative approach based on facts which all parties agree to. The waiver has now been approved by the NCAA and thus football student-athlete Shea Patterson will be eligible to compete in the 2018-19 academic year.
“Both schools are ready to move forward and appreciate the assistance of the NCAA staff in bringing this matter to a resolution. While the process has been complex at times, the solution was simple – two flagship universities and the NCAA staff working together with a focus on student-athlete well-being.”
Patterson, who has been getting up to speed running plays with the team during spring practice the past several weeks, did suffer a knee injury as a sophomore in Oxford but posted solid numbers over two seasons at Ole Miss — throwing for over 3,000 yards with 23 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. The news should put him in line to be the team’s starter when they open with Notre Dame this season over fellow quarterbacks Brandon Peters, Dylan McCaffrey and early-enrollee Joe Milton.
That in turn should only further enhance the belief that the Wolverines could be a contender for the Big Ten title and make an elusive trip to the College Football Playoff. The former five-star certainly showed flashes as a true freshman for the Rebels and if nothing else solidifies a spot the team has struggled for much consistency with at the position.
Also notable in the join release was the cooperation of Ole Miss in the matter. The school was previously seen as holding up the transfer process and part of a nasty back-and-forth with Patterson and his lawyer but it seems everybody is putting the past behind them and moving forward.