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Bruin Bites: Vanderdoes Not Know His Fate, and Non-Revenue News

Some thoughts on the developing Eddie Vanderdoes situation, and news on the Bruins still competing in NCAA competition.

Will Eddie Vanderdoes be calling this home?
Will Eddie Vanderdoes be calling this home?
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Yes folks, it is Friday. And the Eddie Vanderdoes watch continues. As of (very) early this morning, there have been no substantive updates. In the absence of real news, there have been plenty of rumors - frankly ridiculous enough that I really don't feel the need to link.

Unexpected developments involving college players and possible transfers or decommitments rarely bring out the best in fans. Especially in cases like this where reliable information is scarce, people will create and spread rumors with the flimsiest of foundations. To try avoiding that fate, lets take a look at what we do know - the basic rules governing the National Letter of Intent (ht. CoronadoBruin). Some relevant points:

  • The process: There is an established process for a player that has submitted a signed LOI to request release from that letter.
    • The student and his or her parent/guardian submits an online form which is then sent to the athletic director and NCAA compliance officer at the relevant school (Notre Dame, in EV's case).
      • The school can either grant a complete release from the letter, allowing the player to be recruited by and enroll at any NCAA-member school; not grant a release but remove the ban on other schools recruiting the player; or refusal to release the player from the NLI and continue to bar other NCAA-member schools from recruiting the player. The school must take one of those actions within 30 days of receiving the request (or the release is automatically granted). Notre Dame has done the latter.
      • If the request for release is denied, the player can file an appeal with the organization which governs the NLI process. The appeal, with supporting information must be filed within 30 days of the denial of release. The school then can submit its evidence supporting the refusal to release the player. The decision of that NLI committee can be appealed (PDF) by either party to a final NLI Appeals Committee, within 30 days of the prior decision.
    • The timelines are all rather confusing, but the rule of thumb given by the NLI committee is that the appeals process usually takes 6-8 weeks. That is after the player's decision to seek a release from his/her NLI, and the school's initial denial of the request. We can't say for certain where in the process Eddie currently is, but that he is well into the appeals process. That means that whether or not Notre Dame elects to change their stance and free Eddie, there should be a resolution in the next couple of weeks. That also means that whatever the source of the problem between Eddie and ND is, it is not something that just arose - Eddie would have started this process several weeks ago.
  • On academics. There is a simple provision in the NLI rules: If a committed player does not meet NCAA academic requirements, or is otherwise denied admission to the schools that he/she is committed to, the NLI is declared "null and void". The player is then able to sign a grant-in-aid agreement with any other NCAA school. If, as some Notre Dame board posters (and 'reporters') have speculated, Eddie's problem stems from a problem with one of his HS classes, there can be one of two results: 1) ND admits him anyways; or 2) ND is unable to admit him with the rest of the 2013 class. At the moment that ND refuses to admit him, his NLI becomes void, allowing him to seek enrollment at UCLA (or any other school), making his seeking a release pointless.
  • If Eddie fails to secure release from his Notre Dame LOI, he can choose to break his commitment by enrolling at UCLA or another NCAA school. He would lose a year of athletic eligibility which he cannot counter by using a redshirt season (the normal 5 years to use 4 years of eligibility becomes 4 years to use 3 years of eligibility). During that year, Eddie can be on a football scholarship and practice with the team.

The Women's Golf team is getting ready for the final day of the NCAA Championships. The Bruins finished day 3 of the 4-day tournament in a tie for third place (+9), sadly far behind frontrunning Southern Cal (-19) and Duke (-2). Tee times and live individual and team leaderboards are available here.

Members of the Men's and Women's Tennis teams are competing in the individual portion of the NCAA Championships. #3 Women's seed Robin Anderson has advanced to the Sweet-16, facing a 10am match to advance to the Quarterfinals. Anderson and teammate Skylar Morgan also have a Doubles match later this afternoon. On the Men's side, Dennis Novokov's season ended with a round-of-32 loss yesterday, but Marcos Giron survived to play again today. His Sweet-16 match is also scheduled for 10am. Streaming video and live stats of all matches are available here.

Members of the Bruin Track and Field teams are competing in the West Preliminaries this week in Austin. The Preliminaries help determine which athletes advance to the NCAA Track and Field Championships. So far, three Bruins have secured their trip to the NCAA's: Julian Wruck in discus; Ida Storm in the hammer throw; and Kylie Pricein the long jump.

Congrats to all of the Bruins still competing this spring, and good luck to Eddie Vanderdoes as the NLI appeals process unfolds.