The Florida State football team isn’t practicing Monday but it did get some news that could have significant impact on the field. Earlier today, both the NCAA and ACC approved Jordan Travis’ waiver for immediate eligibility.
“We are excited for Jordan and thankful to the people who examined his situation and reason for his transfer,” coach Willie Taggart said. “Specifically, we want to thank FSU’s compliance office, the Committee for Legislative Relief, the ACC faculty athletics representatives and the University of Louisville for their cooperation. This has been a long but deliberate process, and we are happy to achieve closure on Jordan’s situation.”
Travis is a redshirt freshman with four years of eligibility remaining. He began his career at Louisville, appearing in three games as a true freshman in 2018. The West Palm Beach native was 4-for-14 passing for 17 yards and one touchdown and gained 40 yards on eight carries for the Cardinals. At The Benjamin School, Travis was the 2017 FHSAA 3-A Player of the Year and Palm Beach Player of the Year and was rated as the nation’s No. 24 dual-threat quarterback in the 2018 class.
The Division I Committee for Legislative Relief, which is comprised of administrators from schools and conferences within Division I, approved Travis’ waiver on appeal. Then, a request to the ACC faculty athletics representatives was required to waive the conference’s restriction against immediate eligibility for undergraduate student-athletes who transfer directly from one conference school to another. The final decision from the faculty athletics representatives was communicated to FSU today.
Travis’ eligibility adds needed to depth at the quarterback position for the Seminoles. The battle for the starting quarterback position has been a two-man race between James Blackman and Alex Hornibrook up until this point in preseason camp. The eligibility of Travis could allow Kendal Briles to open up his playbook as it pertains to the quarterback run game. The added depth at the position could allow him to be more aggressive in asking his quarterbacks to run the ball.
The appeal was as complex as they come for Travis and a process that FSU administrators navigated for most of 2019. FSU detailed some of the challenges:
- Travis intended to transfer from one ACC school (Louisville) to another (Florida State). ACC rules preclude an undergraduate student-athlete from transferring directly within the conference without penalty. That penalty requires the student-athlete to sit out one year and also lose a year of eligibility. (In Travis’ case, he would’ve lost his redshirt freshman year and been considered a redshirt sophomore by the time he became eligible to play for FSU in 2020.)
- Travis was also bound by an additional ACC rule that requires student-athletes who sign a National Letter of Intent (NLI) to an ACC school to be in residence at that school for at least one year. Travis signed an NLI with Louisville in February 2018, and leaving after less than a year would place him in violation of the terms of that NLI. The penalty for that violation is the same as for the first rule (sit a year, lose a year), and although the league does not double the penalty, it does require two separate waivers in order for a student-athlete to be released from them.
- Finally, Travis was subject to the standard NCAA rule that requires undergraduate student-athletes to sit out a year when transferring between bowl subdivision schools.
According to FSU, the NCAA initially declined Travis’ request before his appeal was approved by the NCAA’s Committee on Legislative Relief on July 24. On Monday, the ACC’s Faculty Athletics Representatives met by teleconference to clear the final hurdle for Travis.
Please continue to check-in daily with the Osceola for more updates on FSU’s 2019 preseason camp.