Virginia Tech offensive lineman Brock Hoffman said the NCAA denied his request to play immediately at his new school, according to the Roanoke Times. Hoffman attempted to get an immediate eligibility waiver so he could continue playing while being closer to his mother, who had a brain tumor removed.
The NCAA didn’t grant that request for two reasons, according to Hoffman. The first is that Virginia Tech is more than 100 miles away from Hoffman’s house. That’s the distance limitation imposed by the NCAA. Hoffman said his house is just five miles outside that limit.
The second, according to Hoffman, is that the NCAA has determined his mother’s condition has improved. In a Twitter post, Hoffman explained his mother is still dealing with facial paralysis, among other side effects, after her surgery.
The NCAA revamped the way it handles immediate eligibility waivers last April, making it easier for players to retain eligibility when transferring. The NCAA said it planned to review that process again in February.
In Hoffman’s case, a rule from 2012 may be preventing him from receiving immediate eligibility. That was when the NCAA introduced the 100-mile radius rule.
As Hoffman mentioned in his post, some players are granted eligibility for less serious issues. Miami quarterback Tate Martell was granted an immediate eligibility waiver by arguing Ohio State did nothing to keep him after bringing in Justin Fields from Georgia.
Hoffman said the decision is under appeal. He’s praying the initial ruling gets overturned.
Hoffman is planning to reach out to Martell’s lawyer to help navigate through the process. The family did not look for legal representation initially because it believed Hoffman would be approved under the circumstances, according to Andy Bitter of the Athletic.
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