Ole Miss fans are happy again, transfer quarterback Jeremiah Masoli has been cleared to play. Three days after the NCAA originally ruled the former Oregon QB ineligible to play this season for the Rebels, the NCAA Division I Subcommittee for Legislative Relief overturned the original decision today.The new ruling means the 5-foot-11, 220-pound Masoli can play as early as Saturday when the Rebels open the season at home against Jacksonville State. Kickoff for the game is set for 2:30 p.m.
“We are very appreciative of the subcommittee that they shared our points of view on Jeremiah,” Ole Miss Athletics Director Pete Boone said in a phone interview. “We appreciate the chance to present our case. It’s a credit to the NCAA that this is in place because this is a complicated rule. It makes you feel good about the system we currently have in place.”
Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt credited Boone for his role in the reversal for Masoli. When the original waiver, which was submitted by Ole Miss officials over two week weeks ago, was rejected on Tuesday, Boone immediately drafted an appeal to the subcommittee so that an appeal could be heard before the weekend.
Boone was afforded a teleconference today with the NCAA and the result was a positive for Masoli as well as for Ole Miss fans who were outwardly dismayed with the original decision on Tuesday. Boone said that he wasn’t alone in securing the reversal. He credited Michael Thompson, the new communications director at Ole Miss, as well as David Wells, the head of Ole Miss’ compliance office, as two other key members of the team that presented information to the subcommittee today.
“I think everyone involved was organized and the information that was presented was thorough,” said Boone, who added he knew what type of information the committee would be looking for having served on an NCAA appeals subcommittee in the past. “I can’t speak for what Jeremiah is going through. I know things have been tough, but I’m sure he has a very positive feeling about life right now. Coach Nutt had invested a lot of time and made a commitment to Jeremiah. He’s excited about the way this turned out, as we all are.” (September 3, 2010)