Gerald Williams Eligible?  Yes!!

Note:  This post was originally put up in a moment of breaking news and haste to get some chores done before stores closed.  The original material may be found after the jump.  Now that I have a moment to think, here is a more intelligible version.  --hooper

CELEBRATION!

Yes, the news is for real.  Gerald Williams is eligible. (Rivals here.  $$$)

Boomsday Knoxville 2007 (via naispot)

Congrats to GW, who has definitely earned the chance to play.  While most college athletes merely pass high school and sign a LOI to be eligible, this kid has taken a much more circuitous route.  But he's worked his tail off for this chance, and he's always wanted to play here.  I'm really happy for him.

MOMENT OF SOBRIETY

UT, on the other hand, really dodged a bullet on this one.  The SEC rule at the heart of the matter is this, in a nutshell:  a JUCO transfer must pass an additional math course and english course prior to enrolling at the SEC school, or they won't be eligible.  As of August First of this year, courses taught online, by correspondence, by distance, or by extension are not permissible to fulfill this requirement. 

As close as I can tell, UT advised GW to take a correspondence math course to fulfill the math requirement, even though his post-Aug. 1st enrollment would technically mean that the math class would no longer satisfy the SEC rule.  It was a grey area due to the transition between the old and new rules, but the wording probably favored a denial of eligibility.  The SEC is purported to have taken GW's hard work and academic success into account, and decided that bad advice on UT's part should not penalzie Williams and his good work.  (I would also imagine that they knew that every other conference in the country would have granted him immediate eligibility, and that he would have been playing somewhere else - most likely Oklahoma State with Trooper Taylor - is they didn't approve the request.)  So he got his eligibility, though the SEC may find some way of penalizing UT for pushing the rules like this.  Keep an ear open for future action against UT; it wouldn't be anything Alabama-esque, but the league will probably want to show that they don't like being toyed with.

BACK TO CELEBRATION!

Kool & The Gang - Celebration (via universalmusicgroup)


 

Early radio reports are suggesting that the SEC will grant Gerald Williams his eligibility, but will penalize UT for trying to mess with the new eligibility requirement.  In brief paraphrase, the new requirement is that any JUCO transfer must complete an additional math and an additional English course prior to enrolling, but those courses cannot be correspondence/online/distance/yougettheidea.  The rule kicked in on Aug. 1st.  GW finished the courses before Aug. 1, but the math course was correspondence, or something like that.  So it's a matter of how you treat the grandfather clause and whether it even applies, because GW finished the course before Aug. 1 but hadn't enrolled at UT before Aug. 1.

The rumor is this:

  1. GW will be eligible.
  2. The SEC will penalize UT for playing loose with the academic compliance regulations.
  3. The SEC recognizes that GW worked his butt off and did everything he could do, and that this is primarily a fault of UT's advice to him.
  4. A *possible* penalty would be a 1-3 game suspension for GW.

Obviously, there are a lot of possibilities, but my early guess is that GW will sit home during UCLA and maybe UAB.  But he'll be back on the field - hopefully in time for Florida.  (I think he will be, actually.)

 

Watch for updates here; I have to travel home from work and fill out a honey-do list, but I'm sure Joel and I will keep our ears open.  Meanwhile, if you have any more insight, please elighten us in the comments.  Include links if you have them, and we'll morph this into a respectable presentation when it's all said and done.  Also, provide corrections;  I'm running on rumors here, so let the facts come through.

 

UPDATE #1:  In the time it took me to write that, GVX informs us that GW will be travelling to UCLA with the team.  Woot!!1  --hooper

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