Did you think a heart-breaking last-second lost against N.C. State and losing two quarterbacks to season-ending injuries was enough karma repayment to allow Dezmine Wells to play immediately?
Silly Maryland fan. Good things are for other schools.
Maryland spokesman says Dez Wells' initial request for immediate eligibility was denied. Maryland will appeal & has no further comment now.— Patrick Stevens (@D1scourse) October 26, 2012
The "appeal" thing sounds good, but I'm not exactly feeling optimistic about it. The NCAA isn't exactly known for taking appeals seriously. It's usually just "Okay, we'll listen to your argument again, then turn it down again." Alex Prewitt seems more encouragingly optimistic and says these things usually require appeals, but we'll have to see how it works out in the future. The fact that the initial decision was a No, plus the relatively unlikelihood that Wells' waiver was going to be granted in the first place, doesn't give me a lot of hope that the appeal will bring anything else out.
After people started getting waivers left and right, I started to get antsy. The NCAA doesn't hand these things out like candy, and over the past week or two they started to do just that. Seemed unlikely that they'd continue to be generous when it came to Dez, too, especially because they can hide behind the ridiculous "precedent" argument.
To recap: transfer back home due to wanting a "chance to play" and "being a starter", claiming a vague family illness after the fact? Get a waiver. Get kicked out of a school you love looking to make a statement based on paper-thin allegations? Tough luck. The NCAA, ladies and gentlemen.
The dream is not yet over with the appeals process, but it's not encouraging. And no Wells probably means this is a bubble team. There's just enough inexperience and just enough in the way of roster holes - a true point guard, for one - to make things nervous late, but if Alex Len and Nick Faust come along as hoped it's probably enough to make the tourney.
Update: Commenter PhillyTerp explains the situation thusly:
From what I've been told, is that since he was kicked out of school, the NCAA doesn't want to set the precedent of allowing kids who get kicked out being able to transfer. Based on the existing precedent, the initial waiver will almost always be denied (why this took so long, who knows). In the appeal process, all info (DA statement, Xavier statement, etc) is looked at and then decided if this particular case deserves a different response.
This is coming from a friend who works in the compliance office of another university, they feel we have a shot in the appeal process, based on the info available to the public and interaction with people at UMD. Not knowing all the facts, they said they wouldn't be surprised either way. As they said, "it's the NCAA does anything they do make sense?"
That's much more optimistic, so I choose to believe it. Sounds like the NCAA wants to use the "baseline" ruling to maintain the precedence of "if you get kicked out of school, no waiver," but can use the appeals process to say that this transfer in particular required a unique ruling. Bit wonky, but whatever.
The silver lining, if there is one: in another year, Maryland will have Wells and Evan Smotrycz come eligible, plus add Roddy Peters and Damonte Dodd. Wells and Smo with a year of practice under them is perhaps comparable to adding two top-10 recruits. Keep Len in the fold until then, and that's the year.
Oh well. Time to go blow out Boston College on their own field, please.