The latest saga in the Houston Nutt Trilogy is who will replace Raymond Cotton?
Cotton, the disgruntled and disgusted No. 2 quarterback for the Ole Miss Rebels, decided that his playing future was better served elsewhere—leaving the Rebels and Houston Nutt wondering “what now?”
If reports are to be believed, former Oregon quarterback, Jeremiah Masoli is getting some major consideration, despite his checkered past. The first question that many will ask is why would Ole Miss or Houston Nutt want a guy like Masoli?
Seriously, do you really have to ask? Despite the fact that he Masoli was a complete idiot off the field in 2009, he was a star on it for the Oregon Ducks last season. Barring any significant injury, had he played for the team in 2010, he was a lock for garnering some Heisman consideration after putting up some impressive numbers in 2009 (2147 yards passing, 668 yards rushing, and 28 total touchdowns).
His presence on an Ole Miss team that not only lost Jevan Snead, but also Dexter McCluster, and Shay Hodge, would be a definite improvement over the relative inexperience of Nathan Stanley. That said, it is tough to discount the baggage that Masoli would bring.
His multiple arrests and all-around ill-advised behavior off the field would offer a huge red flag to the Ole Miss admissions committee and they might not be willing to overlook his past transgressions in favor of their institutions desire for some quality depth at quarterback.
However, if they were to open the door and allow the troubled, former-star to enter the hallowed halls of their program, there would only be one hiccup to consider. According to NCAA transfer rules:
If a student-athlete wants to transfer and immediately compete as a graduate student, the college or university they are transferring to would need to seek a waiver, because in most cases they would have to sit out a year before competing under NCAA transfer rules and would not have any remaining eligibility. One of the factors our members have determined is appropriate for a graduate student waiver is if the transfer is academically motivated.
By “academically motivated”, the NCAA means that the student-athlete would need to choose his/her school based on an inability to complete his graduate studies at the institution that formerly held his eligibility. In other words, Ole Miss would have to offer a graduate program that the University of Oregon does not.
Assuming Masoli is able to apply and be admitted to Ole Miss, under those guidelines, he would be eligible to play immediately.
It’s all speculation for now as Masoli is also looking at other Division I programs—including Ole Miss rival, Mississippi State, but one thing is for certain, someone may be willing to take a chance on Masoli in 2010.