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Lynch applying for hardship waiver at USF

Jul 31, 2012, 4:31 PM EDT

Lynch USF

As you’d expect, Notre Dame transfer Aaron Lynch is hoping to receive immediate eligibility at South Florida. The former freshman All-American provided the biggest news of the offseason when he walked away from the Irish in the middle of spring practice, quitting the team. He finished out the semester before enrolling at South Florida over the summer.

Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times has more from USF head coach Skip Holtz:

“They’re compiling everything and putting it together. Once it’s submitted, it will be ruled on rather quickly,” Holtz told the Times. “Just trying to get all the letters in place and everything else. You have to remember he started here four weeks ago. I would imagine that would be done probably here within the next week.”

Lynch’s departure from Notre Dame, and the ensuing soap opera, has been well chronicled, which might actually be to the detriment of Lynch’s eligibility case.

Defining the hardship waiver is the first piece of the puzzle. John Infante, author of the NCAA’s Bylaw Blog, defines the hardship waiver as something for “student-athletes who are compelled to transfer because of financial hardship or an injury or illness to the student-athlete or a member of their family.”

Obviously, that doesn’t seem to be the case with Lynch. Then again, it didn’t seem to be the case with running back Amir Carlisle, who was granted immediate eligibility after his family uprooted to Indiana after his father took over as the head of Purdue’s strength department.

Eamonn Brennan of ESPN has a breakdown of undergraduate transfer waivers and how often they are granted in college football, and the numbers show that it’s pretty much a 50/50 proposition:


Graduate student transfer waivers:
81 approved
3 denied

Undergraduate transfer waivers:
85 approved
86 denied

The graduate student transfer waiver is allowing Dayne Crist, Mike Ragone, Anthony McDonald, Brandon Newman, Deion Walker, and Hafis Williams to continue their careers, playing out their eligibility after graduating from Notre Dame. Lynch’s case is an entirely different story.

Lynch returning home to South Florida seems to be a data-point that would seemingly support his chances of gaining immediate eligibility. Yet the fact that his mother adamantly disagreed with the decision makes that a tougher angle to pursue.

Pushed for clarification on the rule, the NCAA’s Cameron Schuh didn’t have any clear-cut answer for how the NCAA reaches its decisions.

“There are a number of factors that are considered with the criteria, some of which include the relationship of the individual to the student-athlete and proximity from transferring institution to where the individual lives/is being treated, to name a couple,” Schuh said in an email to ESPN. “Each case is reviewed and determined based on its own merits, so it would not be accurate for me to say if any one factor is weighted more than another nor if cases that look similar on the surface have different outcomes.”

From a football perspective, having Lynch available this fall for duty would be a huge lift to the USF program. It’d also represent a somewhat dangerous precedent, with the morphing of a hardship to include a student-athlete seemingly going against their parent’s wishes to play closer to his girlfriend and friends back home.

Lynch most certainly has the right to play football wherever he wants. Unfortunately for Lynch, the Bulls and Skip Holtz, it might not be until 2013.

  1. dickasman - Jul 31, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    I wonder how much skip’s assistants assistants assistants assistant is paying Aaron?

  2. dickasman - Jul 31, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    I truly believe that nd is only university in this country that does not pay their athletes. I would’ve thrown in Stanford in there but they lost their halo when they created fake classes to pass their athletes.

    • ndschwapp - Jul 31, 2012 at 4:47 PM

      I wish that was true my friend. ND doesn’t pay straight cash like the rest of the country, but we will buy your parents a house or move them closer to campus. You don’t find it odd Aaron Lynch’s mother moved from Florida to Ohio?? For the most part we recruit kids who come from good homes so we don’t do it that often. My Brother played for ND 05-09. No program in NCAA Is squeaky clean sad but true

      • chicagoirish23 - Jul 31, 2012 at 5:06 PM

        When you say your brother, I’m assuming Asaph. I liked your brother as a player, he ran downhill and reminded me of Marc Edwards. Except when he had the fumble against MSU on the goal line, oh well it happens. You mention that Lynch’s mom moved to Ohio, so? Jimmy Clausens parents moved right off campus from Southern California. Did ND pay for that? It’s easy to hide accusations behind suggestive questions on a preceived inside knowledge but you are doing nobody favors with it. If you have something to say, say it. If not, leave it alone.

        PS Just read (nudeman you going to love this) TR and CC are suspended for the season opener.

  3. nudeman - Jul 31, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    1. I don’t care about Aaron Lynch. Not even a little.
    2. If I did care, I’d be hoping his waiver gets denied
    3. See #1

    • irish4006 - Jul 31, 2012 at 6:25 PM

      I wish I could say the same. I do care that we lost a big piece of our defense, but I don’t have anything against the kid. He wanted to be closer to his girlfriend (or whatever) and leave ND, it is a choice he can/could/should be able to make.

      If he can get a waiver and play this year, good for him. If he can’t, well, that’s his (and USF’s)business. He is a gifted athlete, I wish him well.

  4. masalaswag - Jul 31, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    Brent Musberger has said that as long as scores are being kept, schools will look for any way to get the better players and win football games, even it means going around the rules they govern themselves with. Transfer rules, improper benefits, recruiting violations .. it’s all a meaningless ruse as the coaches and athletic departments figure out new ways around the bylaws they’ve created.

    The same thing is happening in the pros. NBA owners go around salary cap restrictions (see: use of trade exceptions this offseason). NHL owners complain about the fairness of front-loaded contracts, then dish them out regularly (see: MIN Wild ownership and how they got Parise/Sutter).

    Winning has become the end-all; as a result, everyone works around the system in some way, shape, or form.

    the Minnesota Wild dish out a ton of cash to Parise and Suter, yet their owner keeps complaining about how the rules in free agency need to be changed

  5. kiopta1 - Jul 31, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    I concur with Nude.

  6. kiopta1 - Jul 31, 2012 at 5:14 PM

    Kelly suspends Rees and Carlo for navy game. We get to see EG and AH.

    • irishfb05 - Jul 31, 2012 at 5:19 PM

      Just heard this as well while watching some US vball. Here is Golson’s chance as long as he takes care of business we are finally done seeing Tommy back there!

  7. ndschwapp - Jul 31, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    @ChicagoIrish23 Like I said earlier we recruit players from good homes so we dont do it OFTEN. Jimmy Clausen’s parents are loaded West lake is not a cheap school. We were probably the only school that didn’t offer an arm and a leg because he didn’t need it ND can’t recruit the deep south because we only offer a top notch education and not the $50,000 Lane kiffen or Urban Meyer offers leaving a recruits house

    • irisheyesinsd - Jul 31, 2012 at 10:32 PM

      Schwapp–your allegation is pretty serious. Slanderous actually, unless you can back it up with some facts. But where are your facts? Throw us a name and who bought what for whom. Without any player names, names of those who were directly involved, and some type of documentation of an illegal transaction, you are just expressing an unsubstantiated opinion. You are certainly entitled to your own opinion, but few if any are going to take your word on the issue of Notre Dame’s integrity without producing some serious documentation.

      • rockmcd - Aug 2, 2012 at 12:23 PM

        Actually I’d rather he NOT back up those statements in a public forum.

        My hunch is that ND would avoid any direct violation of NCAA rules because the risk of being caught is not worth the benefit. I’ve always felt the “we’re one of the good guys” differentiator gets as many top athletes to sign as they might lose by being “just like everyone else”.

        Addressing this particular observation that parents (gasp!) relocate to be closer to their kids, I think there are many ways to help out poor families without breaking the rules. Just thinking out loud, if I were a rich ND alum who owned a business in the midwest I would be more than happy to offer the parent of a football player a job so they can be closer to their kid. If I were a banker, I would definitely consider offering a high-interest loan that would be repaid by an NFL signing bonus (if the kid is lucky enough to earn that) or by the future income that an ND degree would likely bring.

        Being a high profile college athlete has advantages, not all of which are against the rules.

      • clashmorecuse - Aug 4, 2012 at 11:24 AM

        rockmcd, offering a parent a job because their child is an ND football player is an improper benefit. You can frame it all sorts of ways so that its less conspicuous, but at the end of the day that still breaks the rules. Its also debateable whether offering a kid or their family a high interest loan is really helping them out.

    • dickasman - Jul 31, 2012 at 10:44 PM

      Schweppski, I don’t entirely disagree with ya but i am a nd die hard so i maybe biased, even unwillingly so let me restate my statement. Nd probably runs one of the more cleaner programs in the nation.

  8. nudeman - Jul 31, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    If Tommy can just improve his long ball, this offense will be just fine.

    Oh, wait … what did you say?


  9. paiten34 - Aug 1, 2012 at 8:30 AM

    If they give whatever his name is then mine as well not even have the transfer rule. When your mom lives close and even your girlfriend is willing to move close to you while you play out your college career but you leave school to return home anyway. That would be major bull if the NCAA allows immediate eligibility to this guy.

  10. bernhtp - Aug 1, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    From what I can tell, Amir’s situation was very different. I hear murmurs that there were compelling reasons beyond the ones publicly disclosed (father’s move to Indiana and USC probation). USC also granted granted transfer to their archrival, which probably indicates something right there.

    Lynch lacks the public reasons and I cannot even imagine any material private ones (we would know if his girlfriend were pregnant by now). Aaron seems to be somewhat erratic (on and off the field) and a bit of a malcontent. I cannot imagine his waiver being approved.

    My bet is that Lynch plays for USF one year and, assuming he has a very good year, he then moves onto the NFL. I hope he learned something at Notre Dame and later comes to understand the special opportunity he gave up. Ironically, Skip might help him with that.

  11. jerseyshorendfan1 - Aug 1, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    Prediction: DENIED.

  12. irishdodger - Aug 1, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    Calabrese’s folks have a house near campus, did ND pay for that? Not saying ND is pure as driven snow, but accusations like the one you made just be backed up w/ facts. Was Lynch’s mom buying or renting? If there was any player where something like that happened, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was Lynch, but w/o facts, it’s hearsay & not fair to ND. The Irish need more athletes like Lynch & those seen in the SEC. Fatherless athletes w/ learning disabilities= championships. Sad, but true.

  13. rockmcd - Aug 2, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    One of the commenters dismissed the possibility that his girlfriend might be pregnant, saying we’d know that by now. Would we now? That’s private information that I don’t think us fans would have a right to know even if Lynch was a paid professional athlete, much less a 19 year old college kid.

    Keith – To your knowledge, has this rumor been confirmed or denied by any reliable sources?

  14. smurphdoggy29 - Aug 3, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    IF granted it will simply prove that NCAA corruption is complete and irrevocable. He played significant minutes, produced results, did NOT have a legitimate stated cause for transfer, and his own Mother was against it. (Mother’s as in the ones so memorably shown every Saturday as a bit of nostalgia rooting on their baby’s)

  15. irisheyesnate - Aug 8, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    Haha! U r not gonna get it passed stupid! U shouldn’t have let a girlfriend choose ur path! U had something good at notre dame! I HOPE U SIT OUT THEN ENTIRE YR AND REGRET EVERY MINUTE THAT GOES BYE

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