OXFORD, Miss. — Ole Miss and the University of Michigan released a joint statement Friday afternoon regarding former Rebels’ quarterback Shea Patterson who has now been officially declared eligible for the Wolverines’ 2018-19 season.
Patterson, who was 4-6 as a starter at Ole Miss, was informed of the decision Friday.
The joint statement appears to indicate that the original waiver request submitted by Patterson and his attorney, Thomas Mars, was withdrawn, along with “all its associated materials.” In its place, a new waiver application was submitted, one on which both the two schools could agree.
When Patterson’s original waiver application was submitted on February 26, Ole Miss had the option–and did exercise its right–to submit any objections the university might have had to Patterson’s appeal.
Michigan and Ole Miss say they worked together using a new amendment to the transfer rule to reach an agreement on the waiver that will allow Patterson to play. The former waiver that alleges Patterson was lied to by Ole Miss coaches was withdrawn.
— Dan Murphy (@DanMurphyESPN) April 27, 2018
Ole Miss could not “block” Patterson’s eligibility to play this coming season, despite the protestations and finger-pointing from many in the national media who erroneously declared otherwise.
Ole Miss, who is in the middle of its own appeal process with the NCAA regarding the second year bowl ban, objected to Patterson’s language in the original waiver appeal, claiming his allegations of dishonesty on the part of Ole Miss were unfounded.
Director of Athletics Ross Bjork noted at the time:
“We do not oppose the student-athlete competing right away if the decision is based on accurate information, NCAA bylaws, applicable waiver standards and relevant case precedent.”
The text of Friday’s joint statement is as follows:
4/27/2018 4:45:00 PM // David Ablauf, Chad Shepard
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The NCAA Division I Council recently approved an amendment to transfer waiver guidelines for student-athletes seeking immediate eligibility following a transfer. 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.