This morning the Michigan offense picked up another explosive weapon in RB Ty Isaac, who is transferring from USC in order to be closer to his ill mother. According to sources, Isaac had already begun running through the admissions process with the school. He then tweeted in the late morning hours of Thursday that he will be attending Michigan this year.
I will be attending the University of Michigan this year
— Ty Isaac (@TyIsaac) June 5, 2014
The focus now turns to whether or not Isaac will be cleared by the NCAA to immediately play for the Wolverines. As a hardship waiver candidate because of his family circumstances, he is eligible for this season but must first be cleared to do so by the giant that doesn’t have the greatest reputation when it comes to serving its athletes.
Current NCAA hardship waiver rules state that a player seeking immediate eligibility must be transferring to a score within a 100-mile radius of their home. Michigan does not fall in that radius, however, as Ann Arbor rests a little more than 250 miles away from his home in Illinois. Isaac says he’s still going through the process of seeking that waiver and hopes the NCAA will make an exception for him, but we don’t have reason to believe the grip will be loosened for this case.
The NCAA’s 100-mile radius requirement does make sense — at least the logic of it does. Without that rule in place, it would be too easy for athletes to request these hardship waivers because of family circumstances and then transfer anywhere in the country for reasons that obviously aren’t limited to those “family circumstances.” You create a giant mess by abolishing the regulation.
Perhaps a more practical approach would measuring just how long it would take to go from campus to home. Whether the guideline would be a one-day trip or a two-day trip — I’m not proposing specifics — it seems much more logical than stamping a hard number to the decree set in place.
But that isn’t the fact of the matter. As it stands, the NCAA would have to broaden its allowed radius by more than double in order to grant Isaac immediate eligibility, and I just don’t see that happening.
Should Isaac be allowed to play this season, though, he would join sophomores Derrick Green and De’Veon Smith in what would become a very talented and physical backfield.