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OU’s Saunders Has Waiver Appeal Approved

Jalen Saunders, a wide receiver who transferred from Fresno State to Oklahoma, had his previously denied waiver to play immediately granted on appeal:

In September, Oklahoma announced that the NCAA had denied Saunders’ appeal for a hardship waiver as a transfer, meaning that Saunders would have to sit out the entire 2012 season as a transfer.

But after the Sooners appealed that NCAA decision, based on the fact that Fresno State had changed coaches following the 2011 season, the NCAA changed its ruling on Wednesday.

Appeals are heard not by the staff members of the NCAA in Indianapolis, but by people working on campuses, so the appeal is to an entirely different group who are empowered to go outside of set guidelines. We do not know exactly why the coaching change caused Saunders to transfer (e.g. Was his scholarship cut? Just a change in playing style), but it appears transfer waivers when athletes are cut or coaches change are getting more frequent.

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