The NCAA ruled five former Mississippi players will be allowed to play this season after transferring, granting waivers under a recently revised rule that was used to make quarterback Shea Patterson immediate eligibility at Michigan.
UCF receiver Tre Nixon, Houston safety Deontay Anderson, Georgia Tech offensive lineman Jack DeFoor, UAB linebacker Jarrion Street and Nebraska linebacker Breon Dixon will all be eligible to play this season instead of sitting out to satisfy NCAA requirements.
Attorney Tom Mars, who was advising all the Ole Miss players except Dixon, said Thursday night the waivers all went through the same process as Patterson's. The NCAA tweaked its waiver process last month to allow players who were in good standing at their previous school to be immediately eligible at their new school if the original school does not oppose the transfer.
Originally, Patterson had filed an application for a waiver based on being misled during the recruiting process by Ole Miss coaches and staffers about a then-ongoing NCAA investigation. The investigation led to Ole Miss football being hit with NCAA sanctions that included a postseason ban for the upcoming season. As part of the sanctions, players entering their fourth seasons at Ole Miss were allowed to transfer without sitting out in 2018. Patterson and the other players granted waivers did not qualify, but decided to ask the NCAA for an exception.
The modification of the waiver process by the NCAA last month allowed for the schools to work with Mississippi and come to a less contentious resolution.
All the players had been allowed to participate in spring practice with their new schools. Dixon, whose eligibility was announced by Nebraska, was a freshman last season at Ole Miss and has three seasons of eligibility left. The other players were all from the 2016 signing class.
The status of one more Ole Miss transfer remains unresolved. Receiver Van Jefferson, a 2015 signee, is at Florida, where transferring within the Southeastern Conference — usually prohibited — adds another issue to be resolved.