Iowa defensive end Drew Ott's senior season was injury plagued; he dislocated his elbow against Iowa State in week two, then tore his ACL a month later against Illinois. Ever since, Iowa has been pursuing a medical hardship waiver so that Ott could regain his senior season.
There's one little complication. Under NCAA rules, Ott doesn't qualify for a waiver. According to NCAA rule 12.8.4, three criteria must be met for a team sport:
(a) The incapacitating injury or illness occurs in one of the four seasons of intercollegiate competition at any two-year or four-year collegiate institutions or occurs after the first day of classes in the student-athlete's senior year in high school;
(b) The injury or illness occurs prior to the first competition of the second half of the playing season that concludes with the NCAA championship in that sport (see Bylaw 18.104.22.168.4) and results in incapacity to compete for the remainder of that playing season;
(c) In team sports, the injury or illness occurs when the student-athlete has not participated in more than three contests or dates of competition (whichever is applicable to that sport) or 30 percent (whichever number is greater) of the institution's scheduled or completed contests or dates of competition in his or her sport.
Ott meets the first two criteria for a hardship waiver.
He doesn't meet the third. Ott played in six of Iowa's 14 games (43%) last season...way more than the NCAA's 30% or three games criteria. But Iowa decided to pursue it anyway. Which I understand: you never know for sure until you ask.
Unfortunately for Ott, the NCAA has turned down his petition. So that should be the end of it, right? Not so fast, my friends. We're talking about IOWA, remember? According to Iowa assistant coach Reese Morgan, Iowa has appealed this decision multiple times.
And has gotten the same answer each and every time. No.
"He's written appeals. He has communicated. Our compliance people are going back and forth trying to help out," Morgan said. "But, yeah, it's — you know, it's hard and you feel for him, because he just wants to know. He just wants to know: Can I get an agent? Can I continue to play? … What am I able to do?"
Wait. What? The NCAA has given him an answer - and apparently given it to him multiple times. But for some reason, Iowa has somehow become Lloyd Christmas to the NCAA's Mary Swanson.
The rule is pretty straightforward, and the answers are pretty clear. Drew Ott's college football career is over. Should he get an agent? Why wouldn't he, with the NFL Draft coming up next month.
The rule is pretty clear, and the NCAA has responded multiple times. Yet Iowa somehow is not getting the message:
Hey @NCAA get your shit together and please let Drew Ott know if he can come back to Iowa— Hawkeye Recruiting (@Iowa_Recruiting) March 30, 2016
NCAA: "Sorry, the answer is no."
Waiting for the Drew Ott decision like: pic.twitter.com/ffRH4CBnAL— Dan Corey (@DanCorey5) March 30, 2016
NCAA: "In case you missed it, the answer is still no."
NCAA just did Drew Ott dirty • how do you take that long to make a decision?!— Jerica (@DallasMocha) March 30, 2016
NCAA: "Still the same answer. No."
Did the NCAA take so long with Drew Ott's redshirt because they were waiting for a bribe? My baseless accusation is yes.— Säm Bück (@stavross29) March 30, 2016
NCAA: "See the previous response. No."
NCAA: "The answer is still no."
@TaylorRooks I don't understand why the NCAA is treating the Drew Ott (Iowa DL) situation like Han Solo in carbonite. Make a decision, NCAA.— Jason in Nashville (@jasonkemp) March 28, 2016
NCAA: "We already did: No."
This whole Drew Ott case is dragging on way to long NCAA needs to make their decision quick— Abby Hershberger (@AbbyHershberger) March 25, 2016
NCAA: "Don't look at us. We've already given Iowa our answer. Many times."
@JayBilas what's a guy like Iowa's Drew Ott have to do to get an answer from the NCAA?— Danny Kromrie (@DKromrie) March 24, 2016
NCAA: "Reading it would be a good start."
Hey @NCAA you can rule on Drew Ott any day now.— Nick Baker (@NickTBaker) March 22, 2016
NCAA: "We already did. Talk to the folks in Iowa City, who seem to have a comprehension issue."
That's a great stat but what we all really want to know is..is Drew Ott eligible or not https://t.co/5U9CH6xQda— Jeff Ashby (@oleballcoach1) March 11, 2016
I get the disappointment in Iowa...but the outrage seems to be misplaced. The NCAA has responded - many times.
It just doesn't seem to be getting through in Iowa City.