Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

SEC rule change clears path for QB Malik Zaire to join Gators

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Alfredo Watts | 03 June, 2017, 01:49

Schools under Zaire's consideration include Texas, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Florida, per ESPN, but until now, the Gators haven't been a viable option because of an SEC rule prohibiting schools from accepting graduate transfers for three years if previous graduate transfers fail to meet academic requirements.

On Friday, at the conclusion of this year's SEC spring meetings in Destin, Florida, the conference amended its grad transfer rule that would allow Zaire, who as of this week was reportedly leaning towards Florida, to transfer to the Gators.

But the lone piece of graduate transfer legislation that did not pass was Georgia's proposal, which would allow for those who completed their undergraduate degree in the SEC to transfer to another conference program without a waiver.

In the immediate future, Florida stands to benefits the most from this new legislation. The Gators had been unable to add Zaire because two previous graduate transfers failed to meet academic requirements after transferring to Florida in 2016. As a result, the Gators had been put on probation for three years.

The ban is now one year.

Both Zaire and DeShone Kizer played in Notre Dame's loss to Texas in last year's season opener, as coach Brian Kelly always has been open to using multiple quarterbacks and was trying to find a permanent starter.

"It was early on in the grad transfer process and there were some high-profile situations ... and we kind of got out in front of everybody else", Stricklin said.

The reason for the wait is to see what potential policies an NCAA transfer working group recommends on the issue.

Originally, SEC bylaw 14.1.15.3 (b) stated: "The student-athlete must earn all possible April points applicable for each term of enrollment". "If it happens it happens and we'll all forward. There's a lot that remains to be done".