By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
DESTIN, Fla. – Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt says given the chance he’d accept Jeremiah Masoli into his program all over again.
However, SEC presidents on Friday took the possibility of a similar graduate student transfer out of Nutt’s hands.
Among their actions on the final day of the league’s business meetings, presidents voted to eliminate the exception for graduate students to an existing rule that requires student-athletes transferring to an SEC school to have at least two years of eligibility remaining in their sport.
“We see this as an academic rule,” SEC commissioner Mike Slive said. “When it became an athletic rule we were no longer interested in having the exception.”
Masoli had already graduated from Oregon when he was dismissed from the football program and transferred to Ole Miss.
He was cleared to play football at Ole Miss after enrolling in a course of graduate study that would not have been available to him at Oregon. For Masoli, that was parks and recreation management.
The new rule goes into affect Oct. 1, 2012. It will not affect Auburn’s recruitment of former North Carolina State quarterback Russell Wilson.
Nutt was asked about the Masoli situation on Tuesday, the first day of the meetings, and gave the player high praise.
“I took a lot of (media) hits on that one, but there’s not a better guy. I’d do it and do it again. He was a class act. I know he made mistakes, but he came in and helped our locker room,” Nutt said. “He was very unselfish. He did right by us. He was in the community, was a giving person. I think he learned some hard lessons, but I think Ole Miss helped him in that area.”
Contact Parrish Alford at 678-1600