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Why the NCAA Denied Matt Glover’s Waiver

Matt Glover, who transferred from Penn State to the University of San Francisco, asked for a waiver to play immediately which was denied. It would seem he had a lot of good reasons for transferring:

His mother, Nancy Willson, told that the Penn State situation, along with family issues, were the reasons she gave to the NCAA on the waiver in an attempt to gain immediately eligibility. Willson had a heart attack this past April, just after returning from the visit to San Francisco.

Jeff Goodman lists three factors that Glover and USF may have presented in the waiver case:

  • A coaching change;
  • The Jerry Sandusky scandal; and
  • His mother’s health.

The first can be dismissed fairly easily. The NCAA has not granted waivers to transfer and play immediately based on just a coaching change. There could be situations similar to the Jerry Sandusky case that might warrant relief for athletes outside of the effective team. But it would require a more direct connection to the athletes, like a coach who sexually harassed or sexually assaulted student-athletes, causing them to not feel safe on campus anymore.

His mother’s heart attack is probably Glover’s best argument, but it has a couple of problems. First is the timing; Glover had already left Penn State and was in the process of transferring when Willson suffered the heart attack. That makes it harder to argue that the illness more or less “forced” the transfer.

Second is where Glover transferred. Starting in 2009, the NCAA was directed to start considering the student-athlete’s role in the care for the injured or ill family member. This means the chances for getting a waiver are much greater when the student-athlete transfers home, not just closer to home.

Combined, those two facts make it very tough for Glover to argue his transfer is so necessary to the care of his mother that it is outside of his control. Transfer restrictions can be debated, but denying Glover’s request is consistent with the NCAA’s current waiver guidelines.

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