The NCAA subcommittee has ruled that Masoli can play football this season for Ole Miss. What a turn of events. Once again, the NCAA has completely surprise the college football community.
I do not know of anyone who expected this ruling from the NCAA. This has been an emotional roller coaster for the Ole Miss football team. First, everyone was excited to see Masoli play on Saturday. Then at the last minute, the NCAA ruled that he could not play. Now, just a day before kickoff, the NCAA reversed its ruling, and Masoli will indeed play on Saturday!
How will all of the twists and turns of this drama affect the Ole Miss football team? This had to be an emotional drain for the players, especially Masoli, not to mention a major distraction in the Rebels preparation for Saturday's game.
It is a good thing that the Rebels are playing Jacksonville State instead of Alabama or Auburn to open their 2010 season! The light schedule at the beginning of this season now seems more important than ever. At first, it simply seemed like a blessing that the Rebels would have time to break in their young team against a few easier opponents.
This remains true, but now it also will allow the Rebels time to recover from the emotional extremes that the team has experienced during the last month. I look for the Rebels to use today's news as a motivational booster shot.
One point that not many people have addressed is what kind of effect all of this drama has had on Nathan Stanley. Stanley was thought to be in the driver's seat for the quarterback position until Masoli transferred. Then, everyone started reporting that the Heisman candidate, Masoli, would surely be the starter after he learned the new system.
Stanley had probably just started to come to grips with his new competition, when the NCAA stepped in and ruled that Masoli could not play. All of a sudden, Stanley was the number one man, again. Now, one day before the Rebels first game, Masoli is back on board. This has had to be hard on the young quarterback. How will he react to the ups and downs of this drama?
All of these questions will be answered on Saturday. One thing is for sure, this game will surely get much more attention than it would have if it were not for the Masoli drama!