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Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Three-point stance: Masoli decision unsettling

By Ivan Maisel

1. The NCAA’s refusal to grant a waiver of eligibility for Oregon transfer Jeremiah Masoli is logical but the precedent it could set is unsettling. Ole Miss maintains that Masoli fit the criteria of the waiver rule as written. The NCAA noted that the rule is academic in nature, and Masoli isn’t transferring for academic reasons. The gist of the ruling: If Masoli isn’t eligible at Oregon this year, he shouldn’t be eligible anywhere. Since when does the NCAA take a decision made by one school and apply it to all others?

2. BYU’s decision to leave the Mountain West Conference is a stunning gamble, if only because it is so rare that a school will leave what’s safe and secure. BYU fans objected last week to my characterization on the ESPNU College Football Podcast of the university being analogous to Notre Dame. Let’s see: a religious university with a national fan base and its own TV network. Sound familiar? BYU joins the Irish, Army and Navy as “national” independents. Now, let’s see who agrees to play the Cougars.

3. We’ve seen West Coast teams travel cross country, draw a noon kickoff and play as if they’re still in bed. Here comes the flip-flop: Cincinnati opens at Fresno State, with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m, Saturday. That’s 10 p.m., Bearcat time. Coach Butch Jones considered moving the team’s schedule back three hours this week. He decided against it. “We’ll have night practices,” Jones said. “We just don’t make a big deal about it.” One plus -- the Bearcats won at Oregon State last year. They’ve done this before.