On further review, the NCAA got it right.
The skeptics will say he beat the system, and maybe he did. But the way the NCAA bylaws read, he has as much right as anybody to transfer to another school after receiving his undergraduate degree, enroll in a graduate program and be eligible to play right away.
He was never dismissed from the University of Oregon. He graduated from Oregon. He was dismissed from the football team. But the NCAA bylaws expressly state that being dismissed or disqualified from an institution is what requires a player to establish residency for a year before being eligible to play.
Being kicked out of school and being kicked off the team are two different things.
It doesn’t matter that Masoli might have violated the spirit of what the NCAA was trying to establish with this whole graduate school transfer rule.
He went by the rules as they were written. Besides, and I apologize for asking this question again, but how often do college football players ever transfer for purely academic reasons?
The end result of all this legal maneuvering is that the Rebels have themselves a quarterback who’s already won at a high level and gives them a chance to make some serious noise in the Western Division race.
Those in the program said Masoli was a true difference-maker on the field during preseason camp with his ability to move around and make plays.
He won’t start in Saturday’s opener against Jacksonville State, but Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt said he would play. Sophomore Nathan Stanley will start.
Ultimately, though, it will be Masoli’s show, and they’d love nothing better in the Land of Hotty Toddy to see him put on a show over these next three months.