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Originally published May 2, 2012 at 04:14p.m., updated May 3, 2012 at 12:00a.m.

Appeal unsuccessful: NCAA denies hardship waiver for KU WR Justin McCay

Oklahoma transfer and Kansas City native will sit out 2012 season

Receiver Justin McCay, a transfer from Oklahoma, listens as his teammates answer questions on Monday, Jan. 16, 2012 at the Anderson Family Football Complex.

Receiver Justin McCay, a transfer from Oklahoma, listens as his teammates answer questions on Monday, Jan. 16, 2012 at the Anderson Family Football Complex.

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Not yet.

So says the NCAA, which on Wednesday, after an appeal heard by the Subcommittee for Legislative Relief, denied the hardship waiver requested by Kansas University wide receiver Justin McCay, making the sophomore ineligible to play during the upcoming season.

“Today we received notice from the subcommittee that they rejected Justin McCay’s appeal to be able to play immediately,” KU coach Charlie Weis said. “They informed our compliance officer that there wasn’t that one catastrophic event evident to rule in his favor. I’m extremely disappointed that common sense did not prevail. I have read all of the information on this case, and it is a shame that this case resulted in a rejection. I cannot release all of the details of Justin’s case as it would be an invasion of his privacy. I can only say that the University of Kansas felt the evidence was overwhelmingly in his favor. I also do not understand why the NCAA had us appeal this case to the subcommittee only to have received the same answer with the same rationale.”

The news came after a highly publicized couple of weeks of waiting. On April 20, the NCAA informed KU officials and Weis that it would not give McCay the waiver, but, in the same breath, recommended that KU appeal the ruling.

After jumping through more hoops and filling out more paperwork, McCay filed his appeal on April 24. At that point, the subcommittee had a week to review the case, and, on Wednesday, the request was denied for a second time.

“This is a very disappointing day for me and my family,” McCay said. “I was very hopeful throughout the process that I would receive a more favorable result, but unfortunately that is not how things turned out. I am so grateful to all of the people who worked so hard on my behalf throughout this process. First of all, I would like to thank the compliance staff at KU for all of the effort they put in to submitting my waiver request. I would also like to thank the athletics director at the University of Oklahoma, Joe Castiglione, for his assistance and support. Lastly, I would like to thank Coach Weis, the entire KU staff and all of my teammates in supporting me during this process. It was a long, difficult process, and I truly appreciate all of the support they gave me along the way."

McCay, a former five-star prospect from Roeland Park’s Bishop Miege High who participated in the U.S. Army All-American game as a senior, signed with Oklahoma out of high school and red-shirted during the 2010 season. He played only sparingly last season and chose to transfer to KU at the start of the spring semester because of a desire to be closer to his family and his hometown.

Despite the ruling going against him, McCay said he would not change his path.

“I have no regrets,” he said. “I am very happy to be at Kansas, and I am going to go out and work hard every day to be the best teammate I can be. Even though I won’t be playing in games this year, I am going to take advantage of every opportunity I have to improve as a player.”

McCay, 6-foot-2, 215 pounds, will sit out the 2012 season but will be allowed to practice. He will be eligible to play again in 2013 as a junior and will have two years remaining.

McCay was listed on KU’s pre-spring depth chart as a second-string receiver, behind senior Kale Pick.

Spikes lands tryout with Saints

Former Kansas University offensive lineman Jeff Spikes has been invited to the New Orleans Saints’ rookie camp, Spikes told the Journal-World on Wednesday.

The 6-foot-6, 325-pound lineman spent most of his time at Kansas playing tackle. After red-shirting in 2007, Spikes started 13 games during the 2008 season and earned a spot on Phil Steele’s freshman All-American third team. In 2009, Spikes played all 12 games and started 10, two at right guard and eight at right tackle. He missed the 2010 season because of an injury to his Achilles tendon and returned in 2011 to start all 12 games at left tackle.

Spikes becomes the third member of KU’s Class of 2012 to draw interest from an NFL team, joining teammates Steven Johnson (LB, Denver) and Tim Biere (TE, Kansas City), who each signed last weekend as undrafted free agents.

Spikes has not signed with the Saints yet but said he was looking forward to getting the opportunity to earn a spot at training camp.

“It’s basically a job interview,” Spikes said of his invite to rookie camp.

No takers for Hatch

Fellow offensive lineman Jeremiah Hatch, who, like Spikes, had started games on KU’s offensive line since the 2008 season, said Wednesday he had not yet been invited to an NFL rookie camp.

Hatch, 6-3, 300, battled weight issues and injuries throughout his time at Kansas, and capped off his college career with 21 starts, including all 12 at center during the 2011 season. He was one of four team captains last season.

Comments

Joshua Hatcher 1 year, 11 months ago

All this means is that Heaps and McCray get to sit on the second team building a practice routine for an extra year. Which kinda sounds like a good thing to me!

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Dan Pawlowski 1 year, 11 months ago

But there is No Cash for the Advancement of Academics.....

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JayHok 1 year, 11 months ago

Anybody else think it's fantastic that a young man like Eric Bledsoe can get his apartment paid for by a college coach his senior year of high school---as quoted by the landlord during an independent Birmingham investigation--- and also have his high grades changed from an F to an A to be eligible by .01 for an NCAA college---as it was shown in the actual gradebook during the same independent investigation---and Bledsoe, thanks to only going to Kentucky for a few months while getting a 0.83 GPA can simply put his name in the NBA draft and make millions of dollars without even a high school degree.

Because he "left for professional reasons", it doesn't affect Coach Capalini's APR!

Go NCAA and Kentucky!

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53jayhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

Does the possibility exist to appeal for a 6th yr for this individual? I know 6th years are granted in extenuating circumstances due to injuries affecting multiple years - maybe this is a way to let him have 4 years of playing time.

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jayhawkintx1973 1 year, 11 months ago

Jacorey Sheperd (sp?), this your chance to step up and get some PT this season. Run sharp routes, catch the ball, don't fumble it, and help team get first downs.

You have the speed Sheperd, you just have to work hard.

Even with this, Kansas is deep at WR, RB, and the OL might be a strength. Plus, Crist with his quick decision making will make it much more difficult for the opponents to defend. He can drop back, one step throw accurately, will force defenders to have well above average technique(not speed) technique to defend against a Crist type QB.

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jayhawkintx1973 1 year, 11 months ago

If it he was at Kansas, then transferred to OU, under these same exact circumstances, the waiver would have been granted.

It's all about money to the NCAA, which hurts the game.

But I will say this, McCay will have a year to practice with the team, and get really close with Jake Heaps. Heisman Candidate is Justin McCay as well as Jake Heaps either 2013 or 2014, or both.

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Gary McCullough 1 year, 11 months ago

A coach can jump from one school to another, even leaving a mess in his wake, but no sanctions are levied. But a student-athlete that believes it is in his best interests to change schools is punished by losing a year of eligibility. How is this different from slavery?

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danno1313 1 year, 11 months ago

I m shocked! The NATIONAL COMMUNISTS AGAINST ATHLETES ruled against a student athlete? NO WAY! What a bunch of D BAGS!

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Tony Bandle 1 year, 11 months ago

Nothing Close to Competency or Accountability

Numbnuts Closet Crazies and Arsholes

Number 1 Concern Cash and Autonomy

No Care Concerning Athletes

I have a "Jaybate-type" list that I could post but I think you all get the general idea!!

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STL_Jayhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

If the NCAA cared more about the student athletes and less about the $$$'s, then the football championship game would be played on January 1st or 2nd instead of a week later.

If I recall correctly, when Oregon played in the championship game 2 years ago, their players missed the entire first week of classes. And, because the NCAA put the game on Monday night instead of Saturday, the football players missed 2 more days of classes in the second week of school. They claim that there can't be a playoff system because of time restraints and it would be a burden for the players from an academic standpoint. I guess Oregon waitng 30+ days to play in a bowl game and then missing the first 7 days of classes because of the delay wasn't a burden. I'm sure when most of us were in school, we often didn't bother showing up until midway through the second week if not later.

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KGphoto 1 year, 11 months ago

It kinda feels like the NCAA is using this low-profile case to keep their record balanced, adding a line of defense for when they let the cash cows slip the noose, or when the number of transfers gets a little to skewed. Like make-up calls for refs.

What a shame for McCay.

Hang in their Justin. They can't take away your talent.

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KUbsee69 1 year, 11 months ago

I did not realize that Indianapolis was in Missouri ... but it must be because the NCAA sure has a taint about it.

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Mike Ardis 1 year, 11 months ago

NCAA = Not Care About Athletes

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baldwinjhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

I'm sure we have some alum from the Law school that would donate some time and file some litigation pro bono for the kid. Anyone out there want to step up to the plate? I say stick it to them and make them spend some money.

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IrishCharlie 1 year, 11 months ago

why are my posts disappearing? Censorship is BS !

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IrishCharlie 1 year, 11 months ago

Charlie still not getting the KU name right.... DUH !

''I can only say that the University of Kansas felt the evidence was overwhelmingly in his favor,'' Weis said.

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squawkhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

A denial was expected given the lack of compelling reason to do otherwise ("because of a desire to be closer to his family and his hometown").. KU fans should feel lucky that OU waived the 2 year rule for transferring in-conference.

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JayHok 1 year, 11 months ago

Remarkable how Derrick Rose was never punished by the NCAA because he was only in class for a few months, supposedly not long enough for the NCAA to nail him to anything. His only punishment was being the #1 overall NBA draft pick plus a chance to sign a future multimillion book deal down the road if his ACL ever blows out, a book detailing what Capalini really does for players who need help taking the SAT or ACT.

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dstnku34 1 year, 11 months ago

Play him anyway. We weren't that far from 0-12 anyhow. We're not gonna win a NC. Crist can still go pro if he throws for 9,000yds and 88 TDs. Frigg the ncaa and let the kid play 4 years of college football.

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rob4lb 1 year, 11 months ago

It is really hard to assess this. I don't think anyone has mentioned what the hardship was. Without knowing all the facts, it is difficult to find fault with the NCAA's ruling.

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STLJayhawk10 1 year, 11 months ago

im sure if he was going to USC, Florida, Alabama, or LSU he'd be eligible right away. I hate not being a money make in football

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Jeff Soisson 1 year, 11 months ago

Way to go NCAA, you really are looking out for your student athletes. Justin, keep working on your game, I can't wait to see you crush it next year.

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jhawkrulz 1 year, 11 months ago

I got the feeling that the longer this drew out that it wouldn't be optimal for his season this year; however, I do think it may be optimal for his career. If you think of most receivers, it takes a year to adapt to the level change. Although I know there are receivers out there that play and do well, most take a year to adapt into a system. HCCW's system is tough and will take experience to learn. I think someone mentioned that McCay dropped a pass and struggled to get time in the preseason game. If all this makes him a better person, I think it will be good. I also think that getting a year under his belt with HCCW won't be a bad thing.

No I am not a fan of the NCAA and this process seemed overly redundant; however, I guess they followed certain protocols.

I'm particularly impressed with the speech that McCay gave, it sounds really good and respectful of all those involved.

Thanks McCay for joining the Jayhawk Nation.

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Wisconsin2Kansas 1 year, 11 months ago

First of all, it's McCay, not "McKay." Second of all, I don't understand why he loses a year of eligibility. Could somebody please fill me in on why he is losing a year of eligibility?

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Jayhawk1116 1 year, 11 months ago

This comment removed for violation of basic obscenity laws.

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hbjayhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

Justin, don't sweat this. My customized McKay jersey will still be worn at games this year. Anxiously awaiting you to break some receiving records at KU. Your name will be on the ring when it is said and done and your story will inspire another generation of student athletes who didn't give let eurocentric dbags take away your dream. Believe.

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Adam Gerval 1 year, 11 months ago

That's too bad. But hey look on the bright side. He loves being at KU, at least he says he does, and we'll have him next year. And lets be real here, be happy you don't have to pay tuition, Justin. You get to go to school for free, in exchange for you essentially exercising. Just saying.

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Jackalope7 1 year, 11 months ago

I'm ok with this. I mean, yes it sucks. But, its not like this team is ready to win right now. I think this team will be better next year.

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kureader 1 year, 11 months ago

I'm likin' Weis more every day.
Few coaches would have given such an honest reply, when asked about an NCAA decision. Most of us don't know the details of the situation, but Weis does. If he thinks there was overwhelming cause to let Justin play, that's good enough for me. The NCAA is, and always has been, a complete joke. They're the ones who need more supervision.

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ejlumus 1 year, 11 months ago

suggest one of KUs top lawyer graduates sue the ncaa

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Keith Hummel 1 year, 11 months ago

Heartless! The NCAA is simply heartless. They took the easy, heartless route on this one.

From what I know of Justin's story, there wasn't a single tragic event that occurred recently, but rather a series of things over many years that ultimately made it virtually impossible for him, emotionally and practically, to stay at OU. Justin basically "couch surfed" (as Grunhard termed it) most of his formative years because he never had a stable home. The one stable force in his life, his father, died just before Justin was to make his college choice. If you want a glimpse into Justin's struggles, read the following article from back in 2009:

http://varsity.kansascity.com/custom/article&news_id=2908

But as tragic as those circumstances are, I believe there is much more that has transpired in the last couple of years that we'll never know, all of it weighing heavily on Justin. But despite all that, the NCAA was apparently incapable of making a common sense nuanced decision for the betterment of a student athlete whom everyone agreed deserved a second chance, and should get the waiver.

The good news for Justin is he is now close to his remaining family, and he has in Grunhard a person who has been by his side through much of these struggles, and who genuinely cares about him, and who will be a true mentor. He will have an entire season to become work with Heaps and become the premier receiver everyone wants him to be. I look forward to watching him catch that first touchdown pass.

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holidaysmore 1 year, 11 months ago

Can anyone remember the last time the NCAA ruled in KU's favor regarding a student athlete and eligibility issues?

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Dyrk Dugan 1 year, 11 months ago

it's probably a bad decision, but this is not shocking. since the original committee didn't approve the waiver, why would this one? Yes, they told KU to go ahead and appeal....but that's a formality probably.

He'll settle in and be rarin to go in 2013. He'll still have two years with us....so this is not devastating to the program....did we want to see him on the field this year? of course...but in the long term health of KU football and Justin McCay, it doesn't really hurt that much.

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John Myers 1 year, 11 months ago

Hang in there, Justin - we'll take you whenever we can. Bust your butt, work on improving, and we'll see you in a year!!

Man, the NCAA is just ridiculous.

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april28 1 year, 11 months ago

Justin....hang in there. A disappointing result that you need to use for fuel as you train and study. You chose the right university and there will be a payoff.

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ltownatrain 1 year, 11 months ago

Just to check but Matt do you know what this does for his overall eligibility? I know usually when someone transfers and they have say 3 years of eligibility left they have to sit 1 leaving them with 2. But I thought I read somewhere that he wouldn't lose eligibility but would only have to sit a year. Clarification would be great. Also while I was excited to see him in action I'm still pumped for this upcoming season.

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Chris Bailey 1 year, 11 months ago

This is such a joke. Why did they tell them to appeal? Like Weis said make the kid and the school jump through more hoops only to deny him again. I hope he uses this as fuel to get better and play at an All Big-12 level as a junior. Rock Chalk

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Steve Jacob 1 year, 11 months ago

I never heard a good reason why he should be eligible this season, so this should be no shock.

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Jayhawk_4_Life 1 year, 11 months ago

the NCAA doesn't just hate KU. They are the most ridiculous organization. Millionaires making more millions off of amateur athletes. As for McCray, it's too bad he can't play with Crist but hopefully him and Heaps will have a great future together.

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clevelandjayhawker 1 year, 11 months ago

hope charlie doesnt get fined for that comment

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STLJayhawk10 1 year, 11 months ago

the ncaa is the dumbest organization to exist. mccay cant play this season yet cam newton got to play the in the national title game when it was known his dad selling his son to the highest bidder. what a joke

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JayhawksandHerd 1 year, 11 months ago

"I’m extremely disappointed that common sense did not prevail."

Well, this is the NCAA we're talking about. Common sense has never been their strong suit.

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JayDocMD 1 year, 11 months ago

The NCAA hates KU. I hate the NCAA. That is all.

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