Syracuse football offensive lineman Chris Bleich had his waiver request denied by the incompetent NCAA, and the Twitter reaction says it all.
Anger, astonishment and sadness – those are the first three words that come to mind after word broke on Thursday evening that the heartless, spineless NCAA has denied the waiver request by Syracuse football offensive lineman Chris Bleich for immediate eligibility.
As such, the redshirt sophomore will have to, unfortunately, sit out the 2020 campaign and may officially compete for the Orange in 2021. The 6-foot-6, 332-pound Bleich, a three-star prospect in high school who hails from Hanover Township, Pa., filed his paperwork for the waiver request in mid-April, according to his Twitter page.
Now, throughout this process, it’s certainly feasible that this months-long ordeal included an appeal. However, for the NCAA to finally rule on this matter virtually five months later, and a mere two days before the ‘Cuse kicks off its 2020 stanza at No. 18 North Carolina, is simply unfair to Bleich, who transferred to the Hill from Florida and enrolled at Syracuse University in January of 2020.
Bleich, expected to contend for a starting spot on the Orange’s offensive line in 2020, revealed the NCAA decision on Twitter. “To all the fans that showed endless support of me since I got here I want to say thank you to each and everyone of you for all your words of encouragement to me in these tough times. But sadly, today I was informed my waiver was denied by the NCAA..”
Multiple media reports indicated on Thursday, as well as in past articles covering Bleich’s situation, that the NCAA’s consistency in granting or denying these waiver requests is sorely lacking. Big-time players at several high-major programs, for example, have received waivers for immediate eligibility, whereas Bleich did not. That’s total non-sense.
Syracuse football offensive lineman Chris Bleich, his waiver request denied by the NCAA, will have to sit out in 2020.
I think that Bleich should have obtained a waiver, and if you want to call me biased, I respect that. But either way, the NCAA should have let him know of its decision well before the 2020 term expected to commence.
Bleich has reportedly dealt with some injuries during his collegiate career, and I’m sure that proved part of his argument in requesting a waiver for immediate eligibility. His hometown in Pennsylvania is also a lot closer in proximity to Central New York than to Gainesville, where the Florida campus is based.
The NCAA’s waiver denial to Bleich is also a blow to the Syracuse football offensive line, which struggled a ton in 2019 and is seemingly facing injuries after the Orange released its first 2020 depth chart earlier this week.
Redshirt junior guard Dakota Davis, a starter last year, is not listed on this inaugural depth chart. And, with Bleich a no-go in 2020, the ‘Cuse has installed senior tight end/defensive tackle Chris Elmore at starting left guard, opposite redshirt junior Darius Tisdale.
The squad’s offensive line possesses a lot of question marks entering the fall campaign, and Bleich not being able to play is the most-recent example. Wishing Chris all the best. He deserved better treatment from the NCAA.
On a slightly positive note, if there is one we can drum up, the outpouring of support for Bleich from his teammates, journalists and fans clearly illustrates that Orange Nation is, indeed, a family.