Ole Miss awaits answer on Masoli appeal

By Parrish Alford/ NEMS Daily Journal

OXFORD – Ole Miss athletic officials are hopeful they’ll receive word from the NCAA today, and equally hopeful the news will be good.
On Tuesday, the governing body of college athletics ruled against the school’s request that it waive its one-year residency requirement for transfers and allow former Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli to compete this season for the Rebels.
The NCAA gave two reasons for denying the request, saying Masoli – who had been suspended for the 2010 season by Oregon coach Chip Kelly for two legal incidents in a six-month span – would not have been eligible at his previous institution, and that it believed his transfer was not motivated by academics.
Ole Miss athletics director Pete Boone cited inconsistencies in the ruling relative to previous cases of a similar nature. By 1 p.m. Tuesday, the school had filed an appeal to be heard by an NCAA subcommittee. The NCAA told the school it would rule within a week, possibly today.
Though the appeals process could stretch beyond today, the NCAA contends it has handled the case in a timely manner.
In a news release on its website, the NCAA states, “The NCAA staff received the waiver request from Ole Miss on Aug. 13 and received the final piece of information from the school in the evening of Aug. 30. After considering that final piece of information, the NCAA staff communicated the decision to the school in the morning of Aug. 31.”
The school’s application for the waiver was more than 20 pages in length.
The Aug. 30 information presented to the NCAA was further clarification of Masoli’s departure from Oregon.
“It was a little more information,” Boone said. “Jeremiah recounted his recollection of events, then Oregon responded, and we responded.”
If the appeal is denied, Masoli would be eligible for the 2011 season if he chooses to stay at Ole Miss. The school could also decide to pursue legal action.
Contact Parrish Alford at 678-1600 or parrish.alford@djournal.com.