Now at the two-week mark, the ongoing eligibility saga of Texas Longhorns offensive tackle Desmond Harrison, a junior college transfer from Contra Costa CC in California, took a sharp public turn on Monday with a report from Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com that BYU has denied Harrison's appeal.
Horns247 weighed in later with a vague report that suggested the same thing. Confirmation-ish.
Brown has been at the forefront of reports on Harrison's situation, which revolves around an online class taken at BYU that was de-certified by the university because the school has not allowed student-athletes to take such courses to qualify since 2006, though sources have told Brown that Texas believes it has a case against the decision on multiple fronts, including the argument that other student-athletes have taken such classes.
There has been no official news from the university on the matter since declaring Harrison out of practice and offering vague comments of optimism about his reinstatement.
Right now, the best-case scenario is that Texas wins their appeal to the NCAA and Harrison gets reinstated, but it's impossible to predict how long that process could take, with the governing body notoriously slow to deal with such situations. Unless the NCAA does manage to rule quickly, Harrison is almost guaranteed to miss games this season and the odds that he will never play a down for the Longhorns in 2013 were significantly increased by BYU's decision.
And as easy as it is to target the NCAA in a time when its definition of amateurism while clearly exploiting the names and likenesses of student-athletes, as well as to bemoan the continued the failures of the Texas academic support staff for their involvement in this whole mess, the real victim is Harrison, who took care of business in the classroom and did what he was told to do to become eligible. If he can't play this season, his NFL dreams will take a serious hit, apart from the serious damage it will cause to hopes of the Texas offensive line showing major improvement.
It's not on Harrison, but isn't that the saddest part of a tragedy, the assigning of blame and casting of aspersions after the fact? After the damage has already been wrought, just to make sense of things, to exert some control on the uncontrollable?
And so the saga continues, with no end in sight and only the small consolation of pointing fingers as nourishment.
So much for that change in luck for which Mack Brown was hoping.
Want to know more about why the Texas defense fell apart last season and how Manny Diaz can fix it? What about insight into Major Applewhite's influences and how they will impact the new Texas offense? Or why you should believe in David Ash making the jump this season? Get all the answers in 2013 In the Huddle: Texas.