Legal experts feel Shea Patterson has ‘great case’ to play at Michigan right away
Former Ole Miss quarterback Shea Patterson is one of several players who transferred from the school after the Rebels were hit with a two-year postseason ban back in December, and there have been questions about whether he will be able to play at Michigan in 2018. As of now, it seems like he has a good shot.
Land of 10 spoke with several NCAA policy experts recently about Patterson’s situation, and the consensus was that Patterson should be granted a waiver to not have to sit out a season, which is what transfers are typically required to do.
“This is a severely compromised system. This is not a system of the athletes’ making. As a result of that, there should be an appropriate response to allowing these athletes to fulfill their playing careers in places where they can have success, unfettered by rules violations that are really a testament to the dysfunctions in the system, and that they were having no party to,” Drexel University professor Ellen J. Staurowsky said of the sanctions against Ole Miss and the impact they had on recruits.
Ole Miss has been accused of downplaying the NCAA’s investigation into its program, telling recruits the violations were committed by former head coach Houston Nutt and should not have a major impact on the program going forward. That obviously wasn’t true.
“The Ole Miss revelations that came out from the Houston Nutt case and the conscious media effort on the part of Ole Miss in terms of that  recruiting class — the combination of all those things are things that I think provide compelling arguments to allow this player to play,” Staurowsky added.
David Ridpath, associate professor of sport management at Ohio University, agreed with Staurowsky.
“I still think it’s a coin-flip to decide, but I think the NCAA will do the right thing,” Ridpath, who is also the president of an advocacy group seeking NCAA academic reform, told Land of 10. “Shea Patterson will be available to start for Michigan [this fall]. It’s not a guarantee … that’s coming from a common-sense standpoint.”
Other experts agreed that the NCAA is inconsistent when it comes to making rulings on these types of cases, but it would be a very bad look to punish former Ole Miss players for violations they had no hand in and were misled about.
One quarterback recruit decommitted from Michigan earlier this month, so that could be a good sign that there is optimism Patterson will be ruled eligible for the 2018 season.