Barry Jackson

Former Miami Hurricanes quarterback gets UM ruling partially overturned

Miami Hurricanes quarterback Evan Shirreffs (16) signals a first down in the fourth quarter as the University of Miami hosts Bethune-Cookman at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017.
Miami Hurricanes quarterback Evan Shirreffs (16) signals a first down in the fourth quarter as the University of Miami hosts Bethune-Cookman at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017. adiaz@miamiherald.com

A UM appeals committee has modified the athletic department’s rules restricting departing quarterback Evan Shirreffs’ ability to play immediately at several schools that interest him.

Shirreffs’ father told CBS Sports this week that the UM appeals committee, which isn’t affiliated with the Hurricanes’ athletic department, has partly reversed the athletic department’s decision and that the quarterback is now immediately eligible to play at three Atlantic Coast Conference schools.

UM’s athletic department had ruled that Shirreffs, who decided to transfer in pursuit of more playing time, could not

play immediately at any other ACC school or any non-ACC schools on UM’s schedule in 2018 or 2019.

Shirreffs appealed that, claiming that because he’s going to be a grad transfer, those UM rules shouldn’t apply to him.

The UM appeals committee partly overruled the football program and will permit him to play immediately at Duke, North Carolina or Virginia because they have top 25 MBA programs in the latest rankings by U.S. News and World Report.

Shirreffs, who has a 3.9 grade point average at UM, is getting his business finance degree in three years and thus falls into the grad transfer category. He plans to seek admission to a top MBA program.

A UM spokesman said Friday that the school would have no comment on anything regarding Shirreffs or how his situation was resolved.

But before the matter was settled this week, UM athletic director Blake James told CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd that a desire for consistency in application of the rules fueled the athletic department’s position that Shirreffs shouldn’t be able to transfer to another ACC school.

"You have 114 other guys on that team who have put in the work and made a commitment," James said told Dodd a couple of weeks ago, "and you have someone that's going to leave with the entire playbook and go to a team you're going to play. To me, I struggle with that as well."

Shirreffs responded to CBS: "What about swimming? They don't have a playbook, which is one of my arguments I'm going to use when I walk into the appeal. If I don't win it, at least people see how screwed up it is....I don't believe it is fair. I enjoyed my time at the University of Miami and I loved it. But I've completed all my academic requirements. I should be able to play wherever I choose to better myself athletically and academically. I had no prior knowledge I would be blocked...

"I knew they could block regular transfers, but not graduate transfers. I'd say that, 'Yeah, in legal terms it's a non-compete [clause]. I never signed a non-compete."

The matter is now settled, and the young man who threw only seven passes in his UM career - and completed two for 28 yards - can now go about his business elsewhere.

Here’s my Friday post with a veteran NBA scout breaking down the Heat’s roster and explaining why it’s not going to work.

Here’s my Friday post with lots of Marlins nuggets.

Twitter: @flasportsbuzz

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