Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell and Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh have been locked in an ongoing war of words over former Michigan offensive lineman James Hudson, who transferred to Cincinnati this offseason.
Hudson has been denied immediate eligibility with the Bearcats. Last week, Fickell blamed Harbaugh for the NCAA’s decision, saying his lack of support hurt Hudson’s changes of being granted a waiver to play right away.
Not so fast, says lawyer Tom Mars, who has been instrumental in winning eligibility cases for numerous student-athletes, including Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson.
In a text message to the Detroit News, Mars absolved Harbaugh of any responsibility, calling it a “myth” that a former coach or program publicly backing a transfer’s waiver claim will impact the NCAA’s decision.
“Finding the exceptions to the year-in-residence requirement and the specific requirements for each requires one to begin with the 440-page (NCAA) DI Manual, which has a table of contents that might as well be labeled, ‘Don’t Start Here,’ ’’ Mars said via text message. “Then, if you’re fortunate enough to find what you’re looking for, which often refers you to another bylaw with exceptions to the exception, you have to go to the Legislative updates that have been published since the annual DI Manual went online and search through those to see if anything has changed, which is usually the case.
“With that in mind, it’s probably not wise for coaches and other people who don’t deal with this complex minutia every day to speak publicly as though they’re an authority on transfer waivers.”
It is a shame that there is an actual person (Hudson) caught up in the middle of this situation.
However, Mars is a major authority on these types of issues. His support for Harbaugh here is a major plus for the Wolverines head coach.