Florida Leaders Call on NCAA to Reinstate FSU Football Player

Florida Leaders Call on NCAA to Reinstate FSU Football Player

Jackson Bakich
Jackson Bakich
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August 18, 2023

In bipartisan fashion, U.S. Representatives from the state of Florida have come together to petition the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to change course and accept the hardship waiver of Florida State University football player, Darrell Jackson Jr.

Earlier this month, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis sent letters to the NCAA urging President Charlie Baker to take another look at Jackson Jr.’s waiver. This provided momentum for the U.S. Representatives to take action.

In late 2022, Darrell Jackson Jr. transferred from the University of Miami to Florida State to play for the Seminoles. At first glance, most would think it was a surprising move, as Miami and Florida State are fierce in-state rivals. However, once the public heard the reasoning for his transfer, it seemed as though everyone – including Senator Marco Rubio and Florida CFO Patronis – understood the situation.

Everyone except the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA).

Currently, the denial of Jackson Jr.’s hardship waiver will force him to sit out a year.

Darrell Jackson Jr. grew up in Havana, Florida, less than half an hour from Tallahassee. He originally began his collegiate career at the University of Maryland but then transferred to Miami in 2022.

However, once his mom fell ill with an undisclosed medical condition, Jackson Jr. made the switch to play at FSU to be closer to his mom.

In March, the NCAA changed its parameters regarding transfers to rein in the massive number of student-athletes switching schools yearly. At the time of Jackson Jr.’s transfer, it was thought that he would be able to play immediately.

Therefore, the NCAA has decided to retroactively enact the rule change and not award the hardship waiver, either.

This brings us to today: Sen. Rubio, CFO Patronis, and now 12 U.S. Representatives from the Sunshine State on both sides of the aisle have come together to call for Jackson Jr.’s reinstatement for the upcoming 2023 season.

They wrote President Baker stating that the NCAA’s ruling was “contradictory to its own mission statement.”

“According to the homepage of its website, the NCAA is ‘dedicated to the well-being and lifelong success of college athletes.’ We express concern that during a time of unprecedented change in college sports that the organization charged with the well being and lifelong success of college athletes would provide a ruling that is self-evidently contradictory to its own mission statement. We echo Senator Rubio’s recent letter that this decision sends the wrong message to our student athletes who choose to put family first when dealing with the health crisis of a loved one,” wrote the Democrat and Republican lawmakers.

The representatives concluded, “We therefore urge that you reconsider Darrell’s hardship waiver, and we respectfully look forward to your prompt response.”

The letter was signed by Representatives Mike Waltz (R-FL), Neal Dunn (R-FL), Cory Mills (R-FL), Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL), Carlos Gimenez (R-FL), Laurel Lee (R-FL), Kat Cammack (R-FL), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Daniel Webster (R-FL), Darren Soto (D-FL), Jared Moskowitz (D-FL), and Byron Donalds (R-FL).

Florida State, #8 in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll, opens its season with #5 Louisiana State University on Sept. 3 in Orlando.

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Jackson Bakich

Jackson Bakich

Born in Orlando but raised in Lake County, Florida, Jackson Bakich is currently a senior at Florida State University. Growing up in the sunshine state, Bakich co-hosted the political talk radio show "Lake County Roundtable" (WLBE) and was a frequent guest for "Lake County Sports Show" (WQBQ). Currently, he is the Sports Editor of the FSView and the co-host of "Tomahawk Talk" (WVFS), a sports talk radio program covering Florida State athletics in Tallahassee.

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