Shea Patterson’s eligibility for Michigan football is still up in the air for 2018, but a proposed rule change could make him able to play right away for the Wolverines.
An NCAA committee is working on a proposed rule change that would remove the requirement for players to sit out a season after transferring *if* they are leaving a team following a coaching change, according to CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd. Patterson’s situation, as he’s transferring after Ole Miss fired head coach Hugh Freeze, would fit here.
“I haven’t heard one person against [doing away with] the notification,” Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith told Dodd.
The question here is whether the rule change would be enacted in time for the 2018 season. “A source close to that situation stressed the preliminary nature of any proposals at the moment,” Dodd writes. While the CBS story quotes many athletic directors saying the rule change seems likely to happen, they aren’t definitive on whether the rule change would go into effect in 2018 or 2019.
Patterson is coming to Michigan from Ole Miss, and his eligibility might be the single biggest question mark surrounding the Wolverines’ 2018 season. NCAA rules grant immediate eligibility to rising seniors who transferred from Ole Miss following the sanctions placed on the program after recruiting violations, but Patterson will be a junior in 2018. Before this new proposed transfer rule, Patterson was still optimistic about his chances to play immediately for Jim Harbaugh.
“It’s in God’s hands,” Patterson told The Toledo Blade’s Kyle Rowland in December. “From what I’m hearing, I’m pretty sure that I will win that and be able to play next year. If I don’t, I’ll work as hard as I can learning the offense and I’ll be playing the year after.”
Patterson’s lawyer told Land of 10 this month that he had not yet submitted Patterson’s paperwork to the NCAA to request immediate eligibility, but was anticipating a decision on Patterson’s eligibility from the NCAA by February.