Well, no. No he couldn't. That would be stupid and ridiculous.
Yet the story getting trumpeted around the Internet featuring former Duke basketball player Greg Paulus playing football for Michigan keeps picking up traction. It's a delightful angle. A four-year basketball star for Duke now wants to switch sports. Could he play college football? In Michigan!? Wouldn't that blow your fucking mind!?
Well, yes it would. But fortunately, it won't.
While I do not claim to be a rulebook guru, I fail to understand how a man could use four years of NCAA eligibility, then transfer — which means he has to sit out a year — and play a sport somewhere else. If that was legal, you'd think this would happen way more often.
NCAA rules stipulate that once you begin your eligibility, you have five years to play four seasons of competition in any sport. Theoretically one could play 11 different sports for the same university, but you would probably be dead from the exhaustion. Furthermore, if you play baseball, hockey, football, or basketball in Division I, and want to transfer to another school, you have to wait a year, which would eat up his fifth year of eligibility.
The Ann Arbor News says it's possible, noting that he'd have to obtain a transfer waiver in order to immediately play football next year. Ah, an exception! The NCAA doles out exceptions all the time, and they have the final say on this one, so I guess anything's possible. It's their playground. Hell, they could grant Michael Vick an exception to play lacrosse for Johns Hopkins. It'd be absolutely ridiculous, and very unlikely, but it's not illegal and therefore "possible."
There was a story about Paulus working out with the Green Bay Packers, and this would be a lot more believable. Antonio Gates played four years of college basketball, then a year later began raking in the accolades as a tight end for the San Diego Chargers. Conversely, former Heisman Trophy winner Charlie Ward went from college football to the NBA.
Paulus was a highly-touted high school quarterback who ran an offense very similar to Michigan's current system. But, please, everyone, stop pumping up this rumor about him suiting up in maize and blue and playing in The Big House next year. Won't happen.Powered by Sidelines