Shea Patterson announced his decision to transfer from Ole Miss to Michigan in December following the NCAA dropping sanctions on the Rebels and is attempting to get on the field right away.
That dream may have just hit a speed bump.
Ole Miss officially objected to Patterson’s claims that led to his decision to transfer from the school, CBS Sports reported Monday after speaking with Patterson’s attorney.
Patterson, and several other players who transferred from Ole Miss, have filed waivers with the NCAA to allow them to take the field next season, trying to avoid the usual NCAA rule requiring transfers to sit out a year. The main point of their waivers has to do with former Rebels coach Hugh Freeze. CBS Sports first detailed how Freeze attempted to downplay the significance of the impending sanctions — which includes a two-year bowl ban — brought down by the NCAA amid their investigation.
They argue that they were misled, and should be granted immediate eligibility at their respective transfer destinations.
“Whoever wrote that response for Ole Miss either wasn’t paying attention last year or had a case of selective amnesia,” Patterson’s attorney Thomas Mars told CBS, noting that the objection is part of the university’s official response to the NCAA on March 28 — the final day the school could respond.
Another person working closely with Patterson’s appeal said misleading statements made by Freeze about the scope of the NCAA investigation were “a flat-out, deliberate lie.”
The NCAA has yet to rule on the waiver, which will have major implications on Michigan’s season next fall. Patterson threw for 3,139 yards, 23 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in just 10 starts in his career at Ole Miss. Before going down with a season-ending knee injury in 2017, the former five-star recruit had already thrown for more than 2,200 yards and 17 touchdowns through seven games.
Should the NCAA deny his waiver, the Wolverines have multiple options they could turn to at quarterback. Redshirt sophomore Brandon Peters played in five games last season, throwing for 486 yards and four touchdowns. They also have redshirt freshman Dylan McCaffrey — Carolina Panthers running back and Stanford standout Christian McCaffrey’s younger brother — and true freshman Joe Milton on scholarship.
Wilton Speight, Michigan’s starter the past two seasons, announced last fall that he was planning to transfer. However Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said on a podcast last month that Speight returning isn’t out of the question — though it’s doubtful that Speight would return should Patterson’s waiver be approved.
“I don’t rule it out completely,” Harbaugh said. “Wilton is going to be a graduate transfer. Wilton graduates in May, and he’s weighing some of his options.
“He’s first taking a look and seeing what else is out there, who is in need of a starting quarterback. But he hasn’t closed the door on coming back.”
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