Former USC running back Amir Carlisle announce his transfer to Notre Dame back in January, after he ran for just 118 yards on 19 carries in the 2011 season. The Notre Dame campus is only 95 miles from where Carlisle's father currently works, so the move is at least partially about getting close to family, but ultimately it is about getting on the field and proving what he can do. The transfer from USC to Notre Dame would make Carlisle ineligible to play in 2012 at the moment, but Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune is reporting that Notre Dame is considering whether they should file a petition with the NCAA to allow Carlisle to get on the field in 2012.
As for how the process would work, the student-athlete would have to present a case to the NCAA as to why playing immediately would be beneficial, and waiver is usually denied if it is determined the transfer was motivated by a clash with coaches or a coaching change. Andy Katz of ESPN covered the waiver process for transfers in great detail last year and pulled out this quote from the NCAA Director of Academic Membership Affairs, Brad Hostetter, to shed some light on how the NCAA approaches the issue:
"The one thing from our perspective is that it's not my place or our place to judge what is in the best interest for that student-athlete at that particular time given their set of circumstances. We try to evaluate what the motivation for the transfer is and allow them to state their case why playing immediately is in their best interest and in the family's best interest at that time."
The entire process is still very opaque and, as Katz points out, it leaves the NCAA open to criticism for not being clear or consistent in application of the rules.
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