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Despite Needing to Be Closer to Ailing Mom, NCAA Denies Darrell Jackson’s Hardship Waiver Request


College conference realignment has raged quickly through the college sports landscape, and apparently, a frustrated NCAA needed to vent its frustrations.

Unfortunately, the recipient of the venting was Florida State defensive lineman Darrell Jackson Jr., who had his request for a hardship waiver to play this season denied by the NCAA earlier this week.

Yet it wasn’t the opportunity to play, but the circumstances behind Jackson’s move to Florida State that makes the NCAA’s denial feel harsh.

In 2021, Jackson began his college career at the University of Maryland but used his one-time transfer to enroll at Miami last season. In 11 games with the Hurricanes, he registered 27 tackles and 3 sacks.

But Jackson’s mother, who lives in Havana, Florida, has a medical condition, so Jackson did what any good son would do; he moved closer to home to be there for his mom.

That meant transferring to Florida State, which is roughly 20 minutes away in Tallahassee, and requesting a hardship waiver to be eligible to play this season for the Seminoles.

But the NCAA squashed his hopes of playing by denying his request.

It’s a surprising and hurtful decision for the young player.

“I came home for my mom,” said Jackson after the NCAA’s decision. “She thinks it’s her fault, but it’s not. I’m going to continue to be there for my mom and see how things play out.”

Seminoles’ head coach Mike Norvell was equally as disappointed.

“He came home for a reason, to be there with his mom,” said Norvell. “I thought that was shown and presented, but ultimately the NCAA, they have a choice of what they’re going to do and the decision that they made.”

But some hope remains as U.S. Senator Marco Rubio caught wind of his situation and jumped in to help.

Rubio, who highlighted Jackson’s decision to “put family first and move home,” sent a letter to NCAA President Charlie Baker urging him to reconsider based upon Jackson’s need to be closer to home to care for his ailing mother.

Continue reading over at First and Pen.

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