Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis has joined Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) in petitioning the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to allow Florida State University defensive tackle Darrell Jackson Jr. the ability to play immediately this season after his hardship waiver was denied.
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 (R-FL) and now Florida CFO Patronis – understood the situation.
Everyone except the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA).
They have denied Jackson Jr.’s hardship waiver which 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 decidedly to retroactively enact the rule change and not award the hardship waiver, either.
Patronis, an FSU graduate, wrote to NCAA President Charlie Baker, stating that Jackson Jr.’s story made him emotional.
UPDATE: Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis sent a letter to NCAA President Charlie Baker asking the NCAA to reopen Florida State junior defensive tackle Darrell Jackson Jr.’s hardship waiver request so that he is eligible to play immediately this season. #GoNoles #FSUFootball pic.twitter.com/R5sit81OMO
— Norvell Central (@CentralNorvell) August 16, 2023
"I’m writing to express my sincere disappointment in the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) recent denial of Florida State University (FSU) Defensive Tackle Darrell Jackson, Jr.’s hardship waiver. As an FSU Alum, and father of two, when I came across Darrell’s story – I’ve got to admit – it got me emotional. Afterall, Darrell put his family first and transferred to FSU to be closer to his ailing mother,” wrote Patronis.
The Florida CFO would go on to mention that this issue is “bigger than sports.”
“I served in the Florida Legislature with Senator Marco Rubio, a proud Florida Gator and Miami Hurricane. The Senator is right that Darrell Jackson’s waiver request needs a second look and the denials of hardship waivers across the country that involved the need to be closer to family. Again, you can tell this issue is bigger than sports when Canes, Gators, Noles, and the entire state of Florida, come together to support Darrell and his family.”
He concluded, “Bureaucracy and red tape should not hamper student-athletes from reaching their full potential. After taking a second look at his hardship waiver, I have no doubt you will determine that Darrell should be reinstated to play immediately, and I look forward to cheering him on this fall garnet and gold.”
This is a developing story.