UC-Riverside is without its senior infielder Eddie Young while he awaits an NCAA ruling on his eligibility. Young should be a fifth-year senior but an administrative mistake is standing in his way:
Young has been sidelined two weeks after the school discovered a paperwork error dating back to his freshman year. In 2009, Young was injured during an early-season game at Bakersfield, but apparently the proper paperwork for a medical redshirt was not filed. Young was playing this season as a fifth-year senior when the error was recently discovered.
This is an example of why medical redshirt is a bad name and the technical term medical hardship waiver is correct. You must apply for a waiver which can be granted or denied. The fact that medical hardship waivers are granted based on longstanding criteria and little judgment is exercised in most cases does not mean they are not waivers.
The best template for UCR’s request is the season of competition waiver for competition while ineligible. But Young does not technically qualify for the waiver; he played in more than 10% of UCR’s games this season. So in a way, UCR is asking for a waiver to the waiver, never an easy proposition.
The best outcome for the NCAA (assuming Young’s medical hardship waiver meets the criteria) would be to rule Young eligible, not force UCR to vacate the games he played in before his medical hardship waiver was granted, but impose on UCR the standard fine of $500 per game up to the maximum of $5,000, which UCR would hit. That would punish the school for the mistake but not harm the team or prevent the student-athlete from finishing his career.