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VA Tech's Brock Hoffman Speaks Out After NCAA Denies Transfer Eligibility Waiver

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorAugust 28, 2019

BLACKSBURG, VA - OCTOBER 21: A member of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets carries a flag through the end zone following a touchdown against the North Carolina Tar Heels in the first half at Lane Stadium on October 21, 2017 in Blacksburg, Virginia. Virginia Tech defeated North Carolina 59-7. (Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
Michael Shroyer/Getty Images

The NCAA denied Virginia Tech offensive lineman Brock Hoffman's appeal to immediately play for the Hokies after transferring from Coastal Carolina.

Hoffman, who tweeted the news, sought a medical hardship waiver to be closer his mother Stephanie. She had surgery to remove a non-cancerous brain tumor in 2017 and still has health issues.

The NCAA rejected the waiver in April before an appeal fell through in August, and the lineman provided his thoughts on the decision to make him wait until 2020.

Brock @BrockHoffman76

2020 Loading...⏳ https://t.co/qQpoG2woIf

"First off I would like to thank the entire country for the overwhelming support on my case! We did what we could, but I was informed today that my appeal has been denied and that I will have to sit out the 2019 season. I will redshirt this season and have two years left to play at VT.

"I know it will be a long journey until the 2020 season, but I'm willing to take it to achieve greatness. The goal now is continue developing my body, perfecting my craft, and being a leader for my teammates. I will not let this bring me down!"

Hoffman's tweet notably included a picture of former Oklahoma linebacker Brian Bosworth, who wore a "National Communists Against Athletes" shirt as a protest against the organization suspending him for the 1987 Orange Bowl for steroid usage.

Hoffman tweeted in April that the NCAA denied his waiver then because (a) Virginia Tech is outside a 100-mile radius from his home in Statesville, North Carolina, and (b) that the NCAA "stated that [his] mothers condition has gotten better since being at Coastal Carolina University."

Per Mike Niziolek of the Roanoke Times, "the NCAA added an 100-mile distance rule when it made changes to the medical hardship waiver process in 2012."

Hoffman also noted that his mother is suffering from "facial paralysis, hear loss and eye sight issues and will never 100% be the same."

Niziolek received the NCAA's reported perspective from a "person familiar with the NCAA process."

"The basis for the decision by the seven-person appeal's committee came down to the timing of Hoffman's transfer," Niziolek wrote. "Tech's compliance department wasn't informed of the specific voting tally."

He also provided more details.

"One of the requirements the NCAA added over the summer to the guidelines that impacted Hoffman stated student-athletes transferring because of an illness in the family 'must occur within or immediately after the academic year.'

"The appeals committee used those guidelines in debating the merits of Hoffman's appeal since it wasn't officially submitted until July."

Numerous people sided with Hoffman after news of his failed appeal broke, including ESPN college football color commentator Todd Blackledge, Chris Hummer of 247Sports and Mike Barber of the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Todd Blackledge @Todd_Blackledge

Ok, so I just read two consecutive reports on Twitter about CFB transfers. One says Brock Hoffman’s waiver is denied, and the other that Aubrey Solomon’s is granted. Can someone PLEASE explain to me the criteria used to make these decisions?? @dennisdoddcbs @BruceFeldmanCFB

Chris Hummer @chris_hummer

We're never going to get full wavier stories due to FERPA rules. But man, it's a bad look for the NCAA that Brock Hoffman and Luke Ford, both of whom transferred because of sick family members, are sitting this year, while other high-profile examples are eligible. https://t.co/MZ4fbFJ69y

Mike Barber @RTD_MikeBarber

In a million years you wouldn't be able to convince me that best interest of student athletes was served by NCAA's decision in Brock Hoffman case. And if it's accurate they penalized him for trying to stick it out at CCU for 2 years before moving closer to home, that's abhorrent.

WCNC Sports Director Nick Carboni also wondered why Hoffman's appeal to play immediately was denied while some quarterbacks (the two biggest names being Ohio State's Justin Fields and Oklahoma's Jalen Hurts) are allowed to suit up right away:

Nick Carboni @NickCarboniWCNC

Some context. Statesville's Brock Hoffman was 5 miles outside the 100 mile radius to get NCAA waiver. Meanwhile the QB carousel churns. Ridiculous. https://t.co/cgmwsBAHxU https://t.co/tt3oRefML0

Hoffman will be eligible to play beginning Sept. 5, 2020, when the Hokies host Liberty.

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