Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NCF Nation [Print without images]

Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Savage needs ACC move to play for Pitt

By Andrea Adelson

You can bet Tom Savage is now rooting for a bunch of lawyers.

Why?

The only way Savage will ever be able to suit up for Pitt is if the Panthers win their lawsuit against the Big East to get out of the league a year early and join the ACC in 2013.

Why?

Lost amid the news story Monday that Savage had enrolled at Pitt was this little factoid -- Big East rules state that once you have signed and competed at a league school, you cannot compete at another league institution. So essentially, you cannot transfer from one Big East school to another and be allowed to play. Savage began his career at Rutgers in 2009. Though he comes to Pitt after a year at Arizona, this Big East rule applies to him.

Savage must sit out 2012 because of NCAA transfer rules, so he is unable to play this year, anyway. He is eligible for his senior season next year, one that he clearly is banking on being in the ACC.

What are the chances that Savage sees his career derailed because of this little known rule?

Probably slim.

Many folks expect Pitt to join the ACC in 2013. Former commissioner John Marinatto said as much before his exit. But negotiations have been slow going, so Pitt filed a lawsuit against the league last month in order to expedite the situation.

This may very well end up being a non-story. West Virginia and the Big East were able to work out a deal to allow the Mountaineers an immediate exit to the Big 12 after lawsuits were filed on both sides. But, there are no guarantees in college football. If Pitt is forced to stay the full 27 months before being allowed to exit, Savage will not be able to play.