James Hudson is one of the many college athletes who decided that he would like to transfer to pursue his passion at another school. The school he chose was the University of Cincinnati. However, the former Michigan Wolverine also hoped to play as soon as possible. That didn’t seem like a particularly outlandish request, especially in the wake of seeing the NCAA grant eligibility to other players. Unfortunately for Hudson, the NCAA denied his request but for a reason that has left many feeling puzzled at best and enraged at worst.
Mental health is a serious issue and one that takes real courage to confront. Hudson has clearly displayed that courage but because he didn’t do so in what the NCAA considered a timely fashion, he is being punished. That is not only patently ridiculous it is also cruel. It makes everything the NCAA says that it stands for in terms of protecting student athletes ring more false than it already has in the last few decades.
Luckily, Hudson’s fight is not over. As with any other bureaucratic or judicial system that can at times treat people as if they are just names and numbers on a piece of paper, the NCAA’s decision can be appealed. That is just what UC has done.
What the NCAA should do from here is simple: let Hudson play. Whether or not he checked a box at the right time, particularly when it deals with such a heavy issue as mental health, shouldn’t matter. I won’t pretend to understand the machinations of a bureaucratic behemoth like the NCAA, but if they hope to maintain even an ounce of credibility in this situation or, even better, if they hope to actually do right by Hudson, it needs to correct this.