Bru McCoy might be ready to pick up that Texas Longhorns hat after all.
Early this month, McCoy committed to the USC Trojans over Texas in a ceremony at the All-American Bowl in San Antonio, leaving the burnt orange hat neglected on the table.
But days after McCoy enrolled as USC, offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury left to take the head coaching job with the Arizona Cardinals. As a result, McCoy entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal on Thursday afternoon.
So what’s next for McCoy? Schools like Texas are now free to contact McCoy and the Longhorns are the expected landing spot if the former consensus five-star prospect decides to leave Los Angeles.
Quarterback Sam Ehlinger certainly seems to know something:
The looming issue is the National Letter of Intent that McCoy signed in December — the penalty for a player not completing their freshman season at the institution that received that NLI is losing one season of eligibility and not being able to compete for one year.
To receive a release from the NLI, McCoy needs to submit an NLI release request to the USC athletic department and the NCAA Eligibility Center. After receiving the release request, the Trojans athletic director and director of compliance would have 30 days to render the NLI release decision.
In that scenario, if USC decides not to grant the release, the McCoy family would have the option of appealing the decision to the NLI Committee.
Texas has actually been in this position before — in 2016, numerous Baylor signees requested their release from the institution in the wake of the sexual assault scandal that resulted in the termination of head coach Art Briles, among others.
Wide receiver Devin Duvernay, now set to enter his senior season at Texas, never had his paperwork submitted to the Big 12 office, so his NLI was deemed invalid. Other Baylor players, like his twin brother Donovan, had to wait until Baylor officially released them from their NLIs. In all, four former Bears signees joined the Longhorns program and were eligible for the 2016 season — the Duvernay brothers, offensive guard Patrick Hudson, and offensive tackle JP Urquidez.
Given the circumstances of the scandal that engulfed Baylor, releasing those players from the NLIs seemed like a clear-cut decision. USC would likely receive some negative publicity by declining to release McCoy from his NLI due to the departure of an assistant coach, but it is a different situation and the appeals process could take some time if it comes to that.
If McCoy does leave USC and come to Texas, he has a window to enroll for classes during the spring semester. Friday is the fourth class day and the end of the official add/drop period. It’s the last day that undergraduate students can register with the approval of the registrar. The 12th class day falls on Feb. 6 — National Signing Day, coincidentally enough — and that’s the last day that an undergraduate student can add a class except for rare and extenuating circumstances.
So look for this story to develop quickly in regards to whether McCoy enrolls at Texas, though it may take longer for USC to make a decision about whether to release him from his NLI.
Update (Thursday 8:36 p.m. Central): My apologies here, folks — since McCoy enrolled at USC and was therefore considered a student athlete, he’ll have to petition the NCAA for a hardship waiver, which seems extremely unlikely. And does help explain this tweet: