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Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly released a statement Wednesday morning after learning that Eddie Vanderdoes was cleared to play at UCLA this season by the NCAA. He said:
"While I disagree with yesterday's decision by the NCAA National Letter of Intent Appeals Committee to reverse its original ruling and grant Eddie Vanderdoes a complete release from his NLI, I understand and respect the entire appeal process. However, this result does not change my opinion concerning the importance of protecting the integrity of the NLI program, nor will it change our approach to the process going forward."
While I agree with Kelly's tone - measured and controlled - I also agree with the overall sentiment. If players can back out of a Letter of Intent, then the whole process is moot. There should absolutely be a penalty for changing one's mind after National Signing Day. Unless, of course, there are mitigating circumstances that weighed on the NCAA during the decision-making process; circumstances we may never know. But the precedent is bad news for coaches ... and fans.
Here is some pretty good analysis of the NLI that I saw from the Bylaw blog twitter account.
What Eddie Vanderdoes NLI appeal victory means for the future of the NLI.
This opens up a Pandora's box that cannot be closed.
NLI means less and less.
A phony excuse will get you our of the NLI without any blowback. Why bother with an NLI?
"Having the right to do something doesn't mean it's right to do it." -- Chief Justice Warren Burger
Now that the NCAA has ruled on this matter it will be interesting to see how many recruits and teams push this decision to the limits.
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