Following practice yesterday, head coach Mike Leach was asked about Kyrin Priester's eligibility for the upcoming season by Jacob Thorpe of the Spokesman-Review. Leach gave an answer similar in nonchalant tone to all of his answers, "Yeah, it's under appeal".
When asked about the grounds for Priester's appeal, Leach - a Pepperdine University School of Law graduate - offered a very lawyerish "just the obvious fact that he outta be allowed to play this year". Further questions were all directed to WSU Compliance, the section of the Athletic Department tasked with making sure WSU is following all of the crazy NCAA rules and regulations (and the PAC-12, and the University).
We reached out earlier today and got a response from Associate Director of Athletics, John Lucier;
Thanks for your inquiry. WSU will not have any comment on this issue at this time and we will not comment on content or reasoning behind waiver requests at any time.
Which is about what we expected to hear. Maybe there'd be some advantage in making their case public, but mostly these type of things are kept private until a decision has been made. We'll know when we know.
If you're wondering what all this is about -- Priester was a 247Sports Composite 4-star wide receiver out of Snellville, GA, and ranked the No. 3 overall prep school prospect and No. 1 wide receiver prep school prospect in the class of '14. He was recruited heavily by Clemson and enrolled there in January.
By early September, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney dismissed Priester from the team for "an attitude that is not acceptable to our standards". A statement whose meaning is only limited by your imagination, it could mean anything.
Following Priester's dismissal, he was recruited to Washington State to be a part of what is quickly becoming one of the most explosive offenses in college football. The NCAA mandates that "you spend one academic year in residence at your new school before you are eligible to compete", or more simply; you sit out a transfer year.
If he's eligible, Priester is a player that could dramatically improve #Wazzu's already very good receiving corps.— Jacob Thorpe (@JacobThorpeSR) August 13, 2015
RLRT -- Ky Priester may be the best receiver on the roster right now. Getting him in the fold this year, while unlikely, would be huge.— Britton K. Ransford (@BKRansford) August 12, 2015
Priester is a legit stud, running him and Dom at one side of the field would be beyond lethal. Oh and Marks is opposite. And Cracraft. Lordy— Brian Anderson (@b17anderson) August 13, 2015
Clearly we're all really excited about his potential eligibility.
There's some definitions in that mandate that should be highlighted:
Academic year - not a calendar year necessarily
Residence - "enrollment in a full-time academic program defined by the institution",
Two things which at WSU could mean 24 credit total hours, or two terms of full-time 12 credit hours, one being the spring and the other being two summer sessions, equaling a year. If Priester was able to get through that this summer, you would think his case would be very strong against the NCAA.
Wanna read all 37 pages of the NCAA Transfer Guide? Here it is.
WSU has made a case for Priester, which could be any number of things. There appears to be some positive feeling about the chances of winning, but the NCAA is unpredictable when it comes to appeal rulings. For now, Priester will have to wait until 2016 to suit up. That could change in the next few week and if it turns positive, it would be a major coupe for WSU.