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Stepheson's Eligibility Appeal Denied (UPDATED)

Not. Surprised. At. All.

From Andy Katz at ESPN...

Alex Stepheson's appeal to play immediately at USC after transferring from North Carolina was denied Wednesday by the NCAA.

Stepheson, who didn't travel with the Trojans to San Juan for the Puerto Rico Tip-Off on Tuesday, will redshirt this season and have two seasons of eligibility remaining. USC assistant Rob Cantu said the Trojans were informed of the decision Wednesday morning.

The 6-foot-9 Stepheson said he transferred to USC to be closer to his family. He filed an appeal to play immediately because he said he needed to help his parents who were dealing with health issues. Stepheson played at Harvard-Westlake High in Los Angeles.

I have said it before and I will say it again...The NCAA would not allow Stepheson's appeal because of the Mayo Mess. Do I have proof, no I do not, It is pure speculation on my part but I don't think I am far off the mark,

I also have hard time seeing an institution like the NCAA with all its ineptness doing the right the right thing for a kid trying to help out his family. They have made bone head decisions in the past so this falls right into line.

We will be fine, But I do fell sorry for the kid. More to come if its pertinent.


The LAT has a little more information on why Stepheson was denied.

NCAA staff examined "the spirit of the rule and case precedent" and found that the circumstances of Stepheson's transfer year-in-residence wai- ver request "do not warrant relief," NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn wrote in an e-mail to the Times.

Osburn also cited "a lack of contemporaneous medical documentation to indicate that the family members needed extra assistance.

"NCAA guidelines state that a member institution must provide documentation regarding any injury or illness of a student-athlete or family member and how those are directly related to the student-athlete's transfer waiver request."

Hmmm...That sort of statement makes me uncomfortable. It seems ambiguous at best. I am not sure what sort of documentation they were looking for but my biggest issue is in regards to patient privacy. I understand that what Stepheson is asking for is akin to a favor from the NCAA but his parents' medical condition should be kept private and I do not have faith in the NCAA in keeping that information private. Now I don't know what the Stepheson family doctors provided but I have a hard time believing that they DIDN'T lay out what the family is facing without going into too much detail.

I stand by my original opinion that this is payback for Mayo...and by extension Bush especially when they have granted that sort of waiver in the past for two other players.