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NCAA Denies Waiver for Wichita State Baseball Transfer

The NCAA has denied a waiver filed by Wichita State for Oklahoma transfer Chase Simpson. Wichita State will file an appeal, but that will be the longest of long shots:

[Associate AD Korey] Torgerson, in his report to the NCAA, asked it to allow Simpson a waiver because he walked on and the coach who recruited him, former assistant Tim Tadlock, went to Texas Tech before the 2012 season. He played in 32 games, starting 12. He received his release from Oklahoma in July and in August came to WSU as a walk-on.

Torgerson said the appeals committee may take a closer look at the circumstances than NCAA staff members did. In Torgerson’s report to the NCAA, he cites a proposal from the Southeastern Conference to allow walk-ons one transfer without penalty, on the rationale that they are unfairly punished by being forced to sit out a year as a scholarship athlete is.

Coaching changes have almost never been a justification for a transfer waiver, and only ever really comes into play if an athlete’s athletics aid is not renewed. Simpson was a walk-on, so he cannot argue that his scholarship was unexpectedly taken away. In addition, after his recruiting coach left, he played an entire season at Oklahoma, further hurting the argument that the coach’s departure made this transfer necessary.

The proposal Wichita State is pointing to, 2007–68, was adopted by the Management Council (the predecessor to the Legislative Council) in the wake of the baseball’s academic reform package that was adopted the year before. But the Board of Directors overruled the Management Council and defeated the proposal. That decision could not draw enough override requests to keep the proposal alive.

Relying on a defeated proposal is almost always fatal, but in this case breathes just enough life into Simpson’s waiver to make the appeal worth filing. The proposal was submitted by the SEC just two weeks after the academic package was adopted, and was likely defeated by the board, like all proposed baseball changes at the time, to allow the effect of the academic reforms to be evaluated.

In rare cases, the NCAA national office has used the waiver process to impose policies that the membership has rejected. The most notable is the graduate transfer waiver, passed after the membership adopted then overruled a general transfer exception for graduate students. Perhaps Wichita State can make a compelling enough argument, but fighting the tide of the Board of Directors will be difficult.

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