The advent of the NIL Era means the NCAA has significantly fewer opportunities to be painted as the villain by going after student-athletes who previously needed to tread very carefully to ensure they didn’t end up embroiled in an investigation over supposedly improper benefits.
The current state of the NIL landscape certainly leaves a bit to be desired, and while I wouldn’t go as far as to say the pivot away from amateurism has caused more problems than it’s solved, there are certainly some issues that need to be addressed sooner rather than later.
Some of those problems are intrinsically linked to the transfer portal, which the NCAA rolled out in 2018 in the hopes of making it easier for players to take their talents to another program. However, there are plenty of people who think athletes have been abusing the system, which has led to the governing body cracking down on players who’ve opted to change allegiances multiple times.
Current FSU defensive tackle Darrell Jackson Jr. falls in that category, as he kicked off his college career with the Maryland Terrapins in 2021 before transferring to the University of Miami ahead of the 2022 campaign.
According to ESPN, he once again opted for a change of scenery earlier this year by transferring to Florida State in order to be closer to his mother Lisa, who lives around 20 minutes away from the university’s campus and grapples with chronic medical issues.
Jackson applied for a hardship waiver in the hopes of suiting up for the Seminoles this season, but the outlet reports the NCAA denied his request (which is sadly—but not surprisingly—not the first time it’s declined to cater to a player in a similar situation).
The DT expressed his disappointment with the decision while discussing the impact it had on his mother, saying, “I came home for my mom. She thinks it’s her fault, but it’s not.”
FSU coach Mike Norvell echoed that sentiment while making it clear he disagrees with the NCAA’s stance but added “We’re going to push, develop and do everything we can to put him in the best position to be one of the best defensive linemen in the country” even though he won’t see any official action this season.