It seems you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who thinks the NCAA made the right decision in denying Iowa defensive end Drew Ott a fifth season.
But even if you did, even that person would surely agree that the NCAA negatively impacted a student-athlete with a process the player and coach described as "confusing" and "cumbersome."
Ott played sparingly in six games last season while battling an elbow injury, and his season was ended after he suffered a torn ACL in an October game against Illinois. Since November, Ott had been trying to earn a medical hardship waiver and earn a fifth season of eligibility, with mostly radio silence coming from both the Big Ten and NCAA. That is until Wednesday, when the news finally came down that Ott wouldn't get a fifth year of eligibility.
But while Ott not being allowed to return for another season with the Hawkeyes is unfortunate for the player, the team and the fans, the main reason everyone is once again shaking their heads at the NCAA is the ridiculous amount of time the process took.
"Really disappointed for Drew," Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz said during a Wednesday press conference. "Drew has just done such a great job, and it's a tough situation. Beyond that, I am disappointed with the decision and also disappointed at the process.
"it's been very cumbersome. The whole process has been cumbersome. It's not a cut-and-dry case, I guess, obviously, or else it would have been done months ago I would assume."
Ferentz said Wednesday that he was somewhat optimistic that the NCAA would work around its rule stating that a player who plays in 30 percent of his teams games cannot earn a medical redshirt. But not getting Ott back didn't seem to be his biggest concern. The same can be said for Ott, who said the NCAA's ultimate decision was understandable.
The sticking point was the process, which dragged on for months and prevented Ott from making preparations for an NFL career, considering he was hopeful he could return to Iowa. That means not hiring an agent, not participating at the NFL Draft Combine and not meeting with pro teams ahead of the draft.
"That's one of the downsides I think of the process taking so long," Ferentz said. "The last couple weeks, the guys have been out traveling a little bit, and for somebody with health issues, that might have been helpful. Nice for it to have been expedited a little bit, but that's not how it worked out."
"It's really confusing," Ott said. "There's just a lot of steps that they have to go through and things like that. So hopefully they can get that a little more streamlined for the next person."
Ott said the rehab from his ACL injury is going well, and Ferentz expressed plenty of confidence that Ott will succeed at the next level.
But once again the NCAA's commitment to its bureaucratic process has seemingly outweighed common sense, this time if not in the ruling itself then certainly in the process, which worked against the student-athlete.