Prominent attorney Tom Mars weighs in on whether Big Ten players who signed with agents can opt back in for 2020
Some Big Ten players who began NFL Draft are now caught in an interesting position with the conference reversing course and deciding to hold a 2020 fall season.
Ohio State cornerback Shaun Wade, who declared for the draft on Monday, appeared on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” on Wednesday, stating he might want to come back and play in 2020. Wade has an agent, which could make him ineligible with the NCAA, but told ESPN he has not signed anything.
Prominent attorney Tom Mars, who has been on both sides of NCAA eligibility cases, weighed in on whether players such as Wade who have had contact with agents will be able to come back and play in the Big Ten since the conference initially called off its fall season.
“The fact that the commissioner said the decision will ‘not be revisited’ and that these guys relied on that statement would allow the NCAA to bring these guys back without setting any precedent that would create a problem down the road,” Mars told The Athletic. “These are extraordinary circumstances that are never going to occur again. Because the Big Ten commissioner was so definitive, with no contradictory statement ever being made by the conference until today, there is a unique flexibility for the NCAA to allow these players to come back — including those who accepted insignificant benefits.
“If Kevin Warren hadn’t made that statement, I don’t think the players who declared for the NFL draft and accepted benefits would have a prayer of being declared eligible.”
The NCAA’s decision on players who were NFL ready but want to come back for a College Football Playoff campaign could have a big impact on the postseason.