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SMU didn’t submit its waivers to NCAA till Oct. 11 & Nov. 6

Postby AfricanMustang » Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:50 pm

UNIVERSITY PARK — Before SMU’s basketball practice on Oct. 1 — exactly 35 days before its home opener — head coach Tim Jankovich said he was “starting to worry” that SMU hadn’t received waiver decisions from the NCAA, and might not before the start of the season.

A waiver that would allow his two transfer guards to be immediately eligible for the 2019-20, and not be forced to sit out until next season.

“It’s just so wrong,” Jankovich said. “You can’t have a waiver in the season.”

The Dallas Morning News recently learned, however, that SMU hadn’t submitted waivers to the NCAA for either Kendric Davis nor Darius McNeill at that point. Davis’ waiver for immediate eligibility was submitted on Oct. 11 and McNeill’s wasn’t submitted until Nov. 6, a day after the season started.

These were dates the NCAA told The Dallas Morning News, and SMU later confirmed.

SMU had been working extensively on putting together a strong and viable waiver case for both players ever since June, but the NCAA wasn’t able to rule on either case until the submissions were made.

Jankovich said he wasn’t directly involved in the process that was headed by SMU’s compliance office, but was kept apprised of everything going on. Ultimately, he was incorrect to say that the waivers had been submitted during the summer.

On Oct. 21, Jankovich stated that he expected both waivers to be decided by the start of the season. But McNeill’s waiver wasn’t even submitted at that point. It would eventually be denied six weeks later on Dec. 4, and would eventually be denied on appeal on Jan. 2.

Davis’ request was initially denied on Nov. 12, but approved 10 days later on appeal.

The timing of SMU’s submission had a great deal to do with a change to waiver policy announced to the public on June 26, 2019. It created more stringent guidelines for the most common cases that schools typically create waiver cases around. It also made it harder to build cases around previous precedent.

In Davis’ case, the main reason for the later submission was a requirement for TCU to sign off on reason for requesting a waiver, according to a source involved in the process.

For several months, TCU wasn’t fully willing to assist in signing off on SMU’s request for Davis’ immediately eligibility, the source said. TCU didn’t agree to language in SMU’s letter to the NCAA, and it resulted in a process that was elongated throughout the summer and into the fall.

After Davis was denied by the NCAA, SMU worked through an appeal, and TCU signed off SMU’s reasoning for the waiver. This resulted in Davis winning an appeal.

TCU head coach Jamie Dixon told The Dallas Morning News through a spokesperson that this version of events is “inaccurate”.

In the case of McNeill, the updated guidelines made odds of a waiver approval much more difficult. He transferred from California to be closer to home and his increasingly ailing mother in Houston.

McNeill committed in April. But NCAA’s aforementioned revisions to waiver policy, announced in June, included a passage that stated “the guideline requires the new school be within 100 miles of the immediate family member.”

In noting the previous guidelines for student-athlete transfers for family-related illnesses, the 100-mile radius rule is not mentioned. Even though SMU’s campus is much closer to Houston than Berkley, California, it is not within 100 miles.

NCAA director Academic and Membership Affairs Brandy Hataway — who oversees the waiver process — told The Dallas Morning News that a waiver has never been denied solely on the basis that a school was outside of a 100-mile radius of an ailing family member.

The reason SMU took so long to submit the waiver had to do with the updated requirements, which included gathering all of the relevant medical information, according to a source involved in the process. Additionally SMU explored avenues for applying for a waiver on separate grounds, but didn’t feel there was a viable case to be made.

Throughout the process for both athletes, SMU was in consistent communication with the NCAA. Each case is assigned a case manager by the NCAA, who acts as a liaison with the school’s compliance officer. The case manager provides assistance for how to submit the most viable case.

SMU — working with a compliance staff of five people — submitted both cases when it felt it was able to do so.

The Mustangs aren’t the only program that had waiver decisions go into the season. Many schools had the same reality. In large part, it appears, the updated guidelines as well as a rise in the number of waivers being submitted contributed to the in-season decisions. The NCAA acknowledged a surge in waiver applications over the last two years.

The NCAA told The Dallas Morning News that it tells its institutions that the average time to resolve a case is four weeks at minimum. The NCAA works with about eight to 12 full-time people making decisions on its waiver cases.

Jankovich was pointedly critical of the NCAA in a Jan. 18 postgame response, when speaking about McNeill’s appeal denial. He said he believed waiver decisions should be decided prior to the season.

“How could an initial waiver not be by the time the season starts?” Jankovich asked. “I don’t understand, we’ve got to stay up all night. We’ve got to hire more people.

“… We got a front row seat on watching two guys get treated the way I don’t think anyone should get treated as a college athlete. And a precious career, that’s just a little tiny piece that you work your life to get to be a college player. Then you get a scholarship and you’re so excited to play and then they go, ‘Well, I don’t know if you’re gonna get to play or not,' but the season’s going on and games are going by.”

After making those comments, Jankovich was asked directly when McNeill’s waiver was submitted, and he said it happened in June or July.

SMU athletic director Rick Hart was also critical that day saying “it’s clear that [the NCAA] can’t adjudicate these things in a timely manner.” Hart also stated he would prefer to get rid of the waiver option entirely.

There was frustration on SMU’s end that, even after waivers were submitted, the process to make a decision took weeks, despite the case manager being intimately involved in the process for months.

Regardless, it’s clear that not everyone at SMU was on the same page on exactly where the compliance office was in the waiver submission process.

Jankovich consistently lamenting the NCAA for not finding a resolution prior to the season isn’t fair if the school hadn’t submitted its waivers.

At the same time, the NCAA’s evolving and increasingly complicated policies for waivers made it more difficult for SMU — and many other schools — to submit waivers in timely manner that would ensure a resolution prior to the season’s start.

Pundits and stakeholders can, and have, debated the ethics of who gets waivers and who doesn’t. If a coach can move schools freely, why can’t an athlete? If an athlete is moving closer to home for a legitimate reason, why is the 100-mile radius a relevant factor?

Why should any athletic director or coach at an athlete’s previous school have to sign off on a new school’s waiver application? In many cases, the two parties don’t see eye to eye.

These are important debates that could be conducted on an endless loop.

The reality is though, that SMU filed its waiver later than it led on. And the NCAA’s complicated and continuously changing policies were a large reason for it.

https://www.dallasnews.com/sports/smu-m ... d-so-late/
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Re: SMU didn’t submit its waivers to NCAA till Oct. 11 & Nov

Postby mavsrage311 » Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:49 pm

I hope this doesn't get swept under the rug so quickly. I'd love to know where the disconnect was. I'd love our AD to explain the situation.
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Re: SMU didn’t submit its waivers to NCAA till Oct. 11 & Nov

Postby JasonB » Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:55 pm

Unfortunately, horrible communication between departments at any university is kind of the norm.

Certainly paints the whole process and communication in a bad light.

Hopefully we learn from it and get better, because it is unacceptable.
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Re: SMU didn’t submit its waivers to NCAA till Oct. 11 & Nov

Postby DanFreibergerForHeisman » Wed Jan 15, 2020 2:54 pm

Interesting.
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Re: SMU didn’t submit its waivers to NCAA till Oct. 11 & Nov

Postby PonyLaw90 » Wed Jan 15, 2020 3:07 pm

Irrespective of the disconnect, this paints the coach in a bad light. More importantly as the AD, I would be cautious of attacking the NCAA when our own internal processes played a significant part in the delay. If there is a significant basis for the delay, inform the athlete and move on to the next year. Holding out this kind of "hope" is misleading to the student and the fans of the program. In my opinion, this delay was carried out to further other interests, i.e., increased ticket sales.

I lay this 90% at the feet of the coach. 10% at the NCAA.
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Re: SMU didn’t submit its waivers to NCAA till Oct. 11 & Nov

Postby ponyboy » Wed Jan 15, 2020 3:40 pm

This just smells like we don't have all the facts.
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Re: SMU didn’t submit its waivers to NCAA till Oct. 11 & Nov

Postby Dukie » Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:36 pm

PonyLaw90 wrote:Irrespective of the disconnect, this paints the coach in a bad light. More importantly as the AD, I would be cautious of attacking the NCAA when our own internal processes played a significant part in the delay. If there is a significant basis for the delay, inform the athlete and move on to the next year. Holding out this kind of "hope" is misleading to the student and the fans of the program. In my opinion, this delay was carried out to further other interests, i.e., increased ticket sales.

I lay this 90% at the feet of the coach. 10% at the NCAA.

Sounds like it may be 10% on TCU as well, though only for one of the two waivers.
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Re: SMU didn’t submit its waivers to NCAA till Oct. 11 & Nov

Postby indianmustang » Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:24 pm

time for Jank to go
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Re: SMU didn’t submit its waivers to NCAA till Oct. 11 & Nov

Postby Charleston Pony » Wed Jan 15, 2020 6:08 pm

Pretty obvious that an athlete's eligibility is not very important to a lot of people at SMU...and we wonder why we have been wandering in the desert for so many years?
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Re: SMU didn’t submit its waivers to NCAA till Oct. 11 & Nov

Postby horsemanx » Wed Jan 15, 2020 6:20 pm

Charleston Pony wrote:Pretty obvious that an athlete's eligibility is not very important to a lot of people at SMU...and we wonder why we have been wandering in the desert for so many years?

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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Re: SMU didn’t submit its waivers to NCAA till Oct. 11 & Nov

Postby JasonB » Wed Jan 15, 2020 6:37 pm

Dukie wrote:
PonyLaw90 wrote:Irrespective of the disconnect, this paints the coach in a bad light. More importantly as the AD, I would be cautious of attacking the NCAA when our own internal processes played a significant part in the delay. If there is a significant basis for the delay, inform the athlete and move on to the next year. Holding out this kind of "hope" is misleading to the student and the fans of the program. In my opinion, this delay was carried out to further other interests, i.e., increased ticket sales.

I lay this 90% at the feet of the coach. 10% at the NCAA.

Sounds like it may be 10% on TCU as well, though only for one of the two waivers.


I don't think we have any proof this was on the coach.

Option 1: Our compliance office wasn't communicating well with the rest of the organization.
Option 2: Our compliance office communicated to Jank, who threw the NCAA under the bus anyway.

The fact that they went so public against the NCAA and it wasn't just Jank, it was Hart also leads me to believe that we are talking about Option 1.

We have all discussed whether Jank is too much of a "players coach". I can't imagine that someone with a rep like that would actually hide stuff from his own players, nor would I imagine that he would actually tell a bold lie to the press when asked about it.

Here is the most likely scenario in my opinion:

- Compliance team tells Jank that they are filing the appeal at some point in the summer.
- Compliance team finds out about rule changes and has more work to do.
- Jank asks about status. "Yeah, we are going back and forth with the NCAA on some things"
- Jank keeps asking, gets the same responses.

I bet that when they had to re-do everything for the new rules, there was a ton of back and forth with the NCAA about what type of information was needed and how much was enough. The lines between a formal submission and just having some tidbits reviewed became blurry and that blurry line wasn't really explained to anyone outside the office.

Jank goes off on the NCAA to the press, and that seems odd. But think about it, the new rules came in July and we didn't submit formally until way later. I bet there was a ton of unknowns about the new material being asked for because it had never been done before. That is why it took so long to formally submit. But I would almost guarantee that they sent the NCAA bits and pieces before the formal submission in order to get feedback on it. Or maybe they tried to formally submit several times and were told "hey, you don't have enough information here to evaluate". If the NCAA is drawing harder lines, they are probably asking for a lot more information than they did in the past as well.

I doubt there was anything nefarious going on with any of it. Just a lack of clear communication.

And I think it is very clear that Mr. Blum is a pr!ck who is way, way more interested in a controversial story than covering SMU in a positive light. Dale Hanson 2.0. We better hope we aren't skirting the rules anywhere because it is clear to me at least he will throw us under the bus as quick as he can if he finds anything.
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Re: SMU didn’t submit its waivers to NCAA till Oct. 11 & Nov

Postby Stallion » Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:13 pm

This is an evidentiary based process-its not just a matter of filing a form. To gather the required evidence that establishes your case takes some time-especially when you are trying to establish the more difficult grounds for a transfer waiver involved in this case. Obviously, there was some embarrassing information released about the date it was filed. As an attorney I don't find this very surprising at all-and I doubt you'd find many litigators who could prove their case within 1-2 months of receiving preliminary facts
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Re: SMU didn’t submit its waivers to NCAA till Oct. 11 & Nov

Postby Junior » Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:15 pm

JasonB wrote:
Dukie wrote:
PonyLaw90 wrote:Irrespective of the disconnect, this paints the coach in a bad light. More importantly as the AD, I would be cautious of attacking the NCAA when our own internal processes played a significant part in the delay. If there is a significant basis for the delay, inform the athlete and move on to the next year. Holding out this kind of "hope" is misleading to the student and the fans of the program. In my opinion, this delay was carried out to further other interests, i.e., increased ticket sales.

I lay this 90% at the feet of the coach. 10% at the NCAA.

Sounds like it may be 10% on TCU as well, though only for one of the two waivers.


I don't think we have any proof this was on the coach.

Option 1: Our compliance office wasn't communicating well with the rest of the organization.
Option 2: Our compliance office communicated to Jank, who threw the NCAA under the bus anyway.

The fact that they went so public against the NCAA and it wasn't just Jank, it was Hart also leads me to believe that we are talking about Option 1.

We have all discussed whether Jank is too much of a "players coach". I can't imagine that someone with a rep like that would actually hide stuff from his own players, nor would I imagine that he would actually tell a bold lie to the press when asked about it.

Here is the most likely scenario in my opinion:

- Compliance team tells Jank that they are filing the appeal at some point in the summer.
- Compliance team finds out about rule changes and has more work to do.
- Jank asks about status. "Yeah, we are going back and forth with the NCAA on some things"
- Jank keeps asking, gets the same responses.

I bet that when they had to re-do everything for the new rules, there was a ton of back and forth with the NCAA about what type of information was needed and how much was enough. The lines between a formal submission and just having some tidbits reviewed became blurry and that blurry line wasn't really explained to anyone outside the office.

Jank goes off on the NCAA to the press, and that seems odd. But think about it, the new rules came in July and we didn't submit formally until way later. I bet there was a ton of unknowns about the new material being asked for because it had never been done before. That is why it took so long to formally submit. But I would almost guarantee that they sent the NCAA bits and pieces before the formal submission in order to get feedback on it. Or maybe they tried to formally submit several times and were told "hey, you don't have enough information here to evaluate". If the NCAA is drawing harder lines, they are probably asking for a lot more information than they did in the past as well.

I doubt there was anything nefarious going on with any of it. Just a lack of clear communication.

And I think it is very clear that Mr. Blum is a pr!ck who is way, way more interested in a controversial story than covering SMU in a positive light. Dale Hanson 2.0. We better hope we aren't skirting the rules anywhere because it is clear to me at least he will throw us under the bus as quick as he can if he finds anything.

Agree with all you said here.
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Re: SMU didn’t submit its waivers to NCAA till Oct. 11 & Nov

Postby ponypatrick » Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:20 am

JasonB wrote:
Dukie wrote:
PonyLaw90 wrote:Irrespective of the disconnect, this paints the coach in a bad light. More importantly as the AD, I would be cautious of attacking the NCAA when our own internal processes played a significant part in the delay. If there is a significant basis for the delay, inform the athlete and move on to the next year. Holding out this kind of "hope" is misleading to the student and the fans of the program. In my opinion, this delay was carried out to further other interests, i.e., increased ticket sales.

I lay this 90% at the feet of the coach. 10% at the NCAA.

Sounds like it may be 10% on TCU as well, though only for one of the two waivers.


I don't think we have any proof this was on the coach.

Option 1: Our compliance office wasn't communicating well with the rest of the organization.
Option 2: Our compliance office communicated to Jank, who threw the NCAA under the bus anyway.

The fact that they went so public against the NCAA and it wasn't just Jank, it was Hart also leads me to believe that we are talking about Option 1.

We have all discussed whether Jank is too much of a "players coach". I can't imagine that someone with a rep like that would actually hide stuff from his own players, nor would I imagine that he would actually tell a bold lie to the press when asked about it.

Here is the most likely scenario in my opinion:

- Compliance team tells Jank that they are filing the appeal at some point in the summer.
- Compliance team finds out about rule changes and has more work to do.
- Jank asks about status. "Yeah, we are going back and forth with the NCAA on some things"
- Jank keeps asking, gets the same responses.

I bet that when they had to re-do everything for the new rules, there was a ton of back and forth with the NCAA about what type of information was needed and how much was enough. The lines between a formal submission and just having some tidbits reviewed became blurry and that blurry line wasn't really explained to anyone outside the office.

Jank goes off on the NCAA to the press, and that seems odd. But think about it, the new rules came in July and we didn't submit formally until way later. I bet there was a ton of unknowns about the new material being asked for because it had never been done before. That is why it took so long to formally submit. But I would almost guarantee that they sent the NCAA bits and pieces before the formal submission in order to get feedback on it. Or maybe they tried to formally submit several times and were told "hey, you don't have enough information here to evaluate". If the NCAA is drawing harder lines, they are probably asking for a lot more information than they did in the past as well.

I doubt there was anything nefarious going on with any of it. Just a lack of clear communication.

And I think it is very clear that Mr. Blum is a pr!ck who is way, way more interested in a controversial story than covering SMU in a positive light. Dale Hanson 2.0. We better hope we aren't skirting the rules anywhere because it is clear to me at least he will throw us under the bus as quick as he can if he finds anything.



I'm sorry Jason, but that's a bunch of B.S. ! This is all on our lazy , whiney Coach. A competent head coach would have been all over this process , following the flow from point A all the way to it's conclusion . Sounds like he not only dropped the ball , but then tried to cover it up by blaming it on the easiest fall guy.....the NCAA . Boy I miss Larry !!
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Re: SMU didn’t submit its waivers to NCAA till Oct. 11 & Nov

Postby Bergermeister » Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:20 am

ponypatrick wrote:
That's a bunch of B.S. ! This is all on our lazy , whiney Coach. A competent head coach would have been all over this process , following the flow from point A all the way to it's conclusion . Sounds like he not only dropped the ball , but then tried to cover it up by blaming it on the easiest fall guy.....the NCAA.

More excuses. Some are buying in to his bs. Looks like this is going to be a slow death.
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