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Shea Patterson’s lawyer releases statement on NCAA granting eligibility, telling Shea the news

We have a statement from a man very close to Shea Patterson

Mississippi v California Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The University of Michigan and University of Mississippi released a statement a short time ago stating that Michigan quarterback was declared eligible by the NCAA for the 2018 season.

An integral part of Patterson’s effort to gain eligibility was his lawyer, Thomas Mars.

Mars provided Maize n Brew with a statement on Patterson being declared eligible. The statement is in a bullet-point form which touches on a variety of sub-topics pertaining to the long and winding road which was Patterson’s journey to gain eligibility.

Mars Statement

“The NCAA has caught a lot of criticism lately, and I’ve been pretty hard on Ole Miss in recent weeks. I haven’t been asked to limit my comments about today’s announcement or to heap praise on anyone. These comments reflect my own thoughts:

• People shouldn’t look at this announcement and try to identify the winners and losers. There are no losers. Everyone came out on top.

• This was a time-consuming, challenging endeavor. However, it was a privilege to help Shea and his family through this lengthy process and to get to know them as well as I do now.

• But the best part of it was saved for last. Calling Shea to give him the good news yesterday, and to hear his reaction, was one of the most personally rewarding experiences I’ve had in the more than 30 years I’ve been a lawyer. I caught Shea cold just as he was walking into the football building to do a few things before leaving for Paris. I could sense both the joy and the relief in Shea’s voice. It wasn’t a long conversation, but it was deeply personal, and it’s one I’ll never forget. I’m looking forward to making similar calls to all the other former Ole Miss football players I’ve been supporting as they conclude the waiver process with the same good news.

• To give credit where it’s due, I applaud both the NCAA policy makers and the people on the front lines in Indianapolis who have to make the tough decisions. I’m sure it wasn’t easy, but they found a way to do the right thing for Shea and the other former Ole Miss players that allowed everyone to get on board and be supportive. The NCAA didn’t just do the right thing in Shea’s case; they did it the right way. The objective here was to get a ruling that would allow Shea to play for Michigan this fall. I couldn’t care less what section of the NCAA rules were used to reach this result. The NCAA could have used a Ouija Board to reach that decision, and we wouldn’t have complained.

• The solution the NCAA came up with in this case wouldn’t have been possible without Ole Miss’s support. I know Ross Bjork answers to a number of constituent groups, and I hope they see this outcome as a “win” not just for Michigan and Shea - but for Ole Miss as well. That’s the way I see it.”