The NCAA, that bastion of amateurism whose member institutions make billions annually off the backs of underpaid student-athletes, just simply can’t ever get out of its own way.
In February of this year, Brock Hoffman announced that he would be transferring from Coastal Carolina to Virginia Tech. An undergraduate, Hoffman would normally have to sit out the 2019 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules, although he filed an appeal for a waiver that would grant him immediate eligibility at Tech.
While it was reported initially that the appeal was based on the coaching change at his previous school, the appeal instead centered around the health of Hoffman’s mother. Per 247Sports.com, “Hoffman’s mother has an acoustic neuroma, a brain tumor, that was removed” in June of 2017. The move to Blacksburg would cut the trip home to Statesville, NC, in half from more than four hours to around two, allowing Hoffman to visit home more often and making it easier for his ailing mother to make the trip north to see her son play.
Despite it appearing to be a slam-dunk, no-brainer decision — and the fact that The Association has been handing out such waivers like candy at Halloween — Hoffman was informed this week that the NCAA denied his appeal for a waiver for immediate eligibility. The reasons for the denial were twofold, with one being slightly more asinine than the other: one, his mother’s condition has improved, and, two, and this is according to Hoffman, Virginia Tech “is 5 miles outside of the [100-mile] radius from my house.”
In November of 2012, the NCAA added a 100-mile radius guideline as part of its modifications of guidelines for transfer waivers.
Tuesday evening, Hoffman took to Twitter to state, among other things, that he will be appealing the NCAA’s nonsensical decision.
This time around, Hoffman and his family will be retaining the services of an attorney to help guide them through what will be his final appeal of the ruling.
Rather bizarrely, if Hoffman would’ve cited the coaching change at Coastal Carolina in his initial appeal, the waiver likely would’ve been granted. Using the new NCAA transfer rules enacted in April of last year — “immediate eligibility may be provided to a transfer student-athlete, provided… the transfer is due to mitigating circumstances that are outside the student-athlete’s control and directly impact the health, safety and well-being of the student-athlete” — a pair of high-profile transfers, Justin Fields from Georgia to Ohio State and Tate Martell from Ohio State to Miami, were among myriad players who have been granted immediate eligibility at their new schools this offseason.