The denial of Luke Ford’s transfer waiver by the NCAA has been a matter of national speculation as recent transfer waiver approvals and denials by the NCAA are causing fans to call for a clearer explanation.
Former Georgia Bulldog and current Illinois tight end Luke Ford had his transfer waiver declined by the NCAA, forcing Ford (pending appeal) to sit out the 2019 season.
Ford, a former four-star recruit, transferred to Illinois in the offseason, citing an ailing grandfather and proximity to home as his reasons for the transfer.
The denial became public knowledge to the world of sports as Ford, a Carterville, Illinois native, tweeted out the news from his Twitter on Wednesday afternoon.
The hashtag “#FreeLukeFord” had been trending alongside multiple other trending movements in response to denied NCAA Transfer requests. The NCAA’s decision in the Luke Ford matters, and other players’ transfer requests such as, could reveal more about the need for reform not only in the NCAA’s transfer guidelines but also inside the NCAA.
The news of the denial comes one day after Virginia Tech’s Brock Hoffman, who transferred to be near his mother who is recovering brain surgery, had his appeal denied for ridiculous reasons.
With the looming importance of the enigma of the transfer portal, clarity and conciseness of ruling become ever the more important. Many are bringing this need to light, citing that the NCAA should make all transfer guideline rules available and transparent, to avoid any confusion in the ruling.
The main reasons that have been revealed so far for the denial of Ford’s hardship waiver, per Jeremy Werner in the tweet below, have been that Champaign-Urbana, where the University of Illinois is located, is more than 100 miles from Ford’s hometown, and that Ford’s sick grandfather isn’t a nuclear family member.
With the approval of hardship waivers for players like Tate Martell and Justin Fields, many are calling into question the factors that the NCAA takes into accounts for its approval or denial of transfer players (among many other, more harsh insults directed at the nation’s governing collegiate athletics organization.
Whether or not Illinois will appeal the NCAA ruling remains to be seen, but it’s more than likely Illini fans will have to wait a full season for their return of the former prized in-state recruit Ford, at a TE spot that remains shallow for head coach Lovie Smith.
As the national movement for granting more (if not all) transfer waivers gains traction, fans around the country shouldn’t be surprised to see the NCAA acknowledge, or at the least clarify, recent rulings.