"What's the latest on Justin McCay?"
That has been the question on the mind of everyone associated with Kansas football during the past few months, as the Oklahoma transfer awaited word on his eligibility waiver application from the NCAA.
Head Coach Charlie Weis has expressed guarded optimism throughout the process, and the matter was expected to come to a head this week. Sure enough, Friday word came down - and it wasn't what the Jayhawks wanted to hear.
McCay's request had been denied by the NCAA.
However, it isn't all bad news for the 6-foot-2, 215-pound wide receiver, as the door to immediate eligibility appears to remain ajar. According to a Friday press release from Kansas Athletics, the NCAA recommended the university appeal the decision directly to Subcommittee for Legislative Relief, an organization comprised of representatives from universities throughout the country.
The Jayhawks made the initial request to the NCAA based on personal circumstances surrounding McCay, seeking what is commonly referred to as a hardship waiver. The NCAA decided they could not approve the request "based on the guidelines the staff is required to follow." The Subcommittee is the only group with the power to circumvent those guidelines, and approve McCay's application.
"We are disappointed in the NCAA staff's decision," said Weis. "But we will take its advice and will appeal to the Subcommittee. We certainly hope that the members of the Subcommittee, who work day-to-day on campuses and in conference offices, will see Justin's situation for what it is and make a decision that is in his best interest."
"I've spoken to Justin and he understands the initial ruling by the NCAA and is encouraged that they recommended that we appeal his case to the Subcommittee," he added. "He will make a statement after the ruling by the Subcommittee."
Obtaining immediate eligibility for McCay, a former five-star prospect out of Roeland Park (KS) Bishop Miege, would provide a shot in the arm to the Jayhawks receiving corps heading into the 2012 season.
Kansas will make its appeal by next Tuesday, and the subcommittee will render its decision by no later than 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 1.