SAN BERNARDINO — Rarely thought of as an efficient organization, the NCAA’s quick decision surprised even Eddie Vanderdoes.
The five-star defensive end had hovered in limbo for weeks after reneging on his signed letter of intent with Notre Dame. After a written appeal failed, he finally had a chance to speak directly to the NCAA last Monday. He didn’t waste his chance, laying out his case for nearly 90 minutes.
The next day, the NCAA cleared him to play immediately. If they hadn’t done so, Vanderdoes would have had to sit this fall, as well as lose a year of eligibility.
Now he is available to replace starter Owamagbe Odighizuwa, a would-be senior who will redshirt the season recovering from hip surgery.
“I was real surprised,” Vanderdoes said. “They actually had called me an hour after, talked to me and told me they would have a full decision tomorrow. They basically had a decision but they kind of wanted to cover their bases the next day.”
An All-American at Placer High in Auburn, Calif. — roughly 35 miles from Sacramento — Vanderdoes gave the NCAA four main reasons for his appeal. One was his grandmother’s breast cancer, but he declined to discuss the others. Continue reading