The Michigan Wolverines petitioned the NCAA on behalf of Shea Patterson for immediate eligibility after the quarterback transferred from Ole Miss in December, though Ole Miss has since filed an objection, according to Angelique S. Chengelis of the Detroit News.
And Patterson's lawyer, Thomas Mars, is not pleased.
"If I didn't know better, I would have thought Ole Miss hired Pinocchio to write its response to Michigan's waiver request," Mars said Monday.
If the NCAA grants the waiver, Patterson will be free to play for Michigan this upcoming season. If not, he'll be required to wait a year under transfer rules.
According to Chengelis, Patterson has argued "he was misled during the recruiting process in 2016 regarding the breadth of NCAA violations placed on Ole Miss that eventually included a two-year bowl ban, the first of which was self-imposed."
Patterson also said former Rebels head coach Hugh Freeze lied to him, though Ole Miss refuted that when it responded to the waiver request.
The school did settle a defamation lawsuit with former head coach Houston Nutt, who was also represented by Mars and said Ole Miss lied to recruits about his role in violations. He received a formal apology.
"Mars uncovered through text messages, phone logs and interviews, how Freeze and the athletic department launched a plan to mislead media and football recruits—including Patterson—telling them the bulk of the violations involved women’s basketball and track and that Nutt was responsible for issues regarding the football program."
And Mars expressed little surprise that Ole Miss would object to Patterson's immediate eligibility.
"After dealing with Ole Miss for over a year, I've learned to expect their leadership to do and say things that the leadership at other Division I schools would never consider doing and to justify their actions by reminding themselves that 'We're Ole Miss,'" he said.
Patterson threw for 2,259 yards, 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions for the Rebels in 2017, completing 63.8 percent of his passes. He was expected to be the next star quarterback at the school, and Mars believes Ole Miss is fighting against Patterson's immediate eligibility as payback for him leaving.
"There's no reason to put lipstick on this pig," Mars said, per Dan Wolken of USA Today. "I'm convinced that 'doing the right thing' never even crossed anyone’s mind in Oxford when the decision-makers at Ole Miss were deciding what to say to the NCAA about Michigan's request to allow Shea to be under center next season. The only reason Ole Miss is trying to stop Shea from being able to compete this fall is pure spite."