As expected, Ole Miss filed an objection to Shea Patterson’s waiver request for immediate eligibility this season at Michigan.
Which leads to one of two conclusions: The school is in denial or it has no shame.
You might have figured Ole Miss hit bottom when it received a two-year bowl ban for rampant cheating, including what the NCAA called an “unconstrained culture of booster involvement in football recruiting.” But ever the small-time program, it has only kept digging, now waging a semantics battle against Patterson rather than moving forward.
Patterson’s waiver appeal argues that Rebels coaches misled him and other recruits on the gravity of the NCAA investigation that ultimately leveled the program. Ole Miss fired back on Tuesday, with athletic director Ross Bjork saying, “With the waiver in question, the way it was written, we had no choice but to respond the way we did.”
The way it was written? Give us a break. This sure feels like pettiness and spite, plain and simple, retaliation against the star passer for wanting what is best for him. Even if Ole Miss did not mislead Patterson — and there appears to be strong evidence it did — it doesn’t get much lower than trying to impede a kid from leaving a situation entirely of its own doing.
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The good news for the Toledo native is the waiver request is not up to Ole Miss. It’s in the hands of the NCAA, and, believe it or not, chances are the governing body will do right here and allow Patterson to play this season.
Regardless, though, it’s another black eye for an Ole Miss program that knows no shame.
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