Recent news stories, including a headline titled "NCAA Denies Richt a Waiver" dated April 27 in the Athens (Ga.) Banner-Herald, have inaccurately reported on the NCAA waiver process. The NCAA has not denied a waiver for University of Georgia football coach Mark Richt to attend a recruit’s high school graduation. A waiver request was never submitted.
The NCAA national office reached out to the university when news reports surfaced of the coach possibly attending the prospect’s graduation. According to news reports, the recruit was being considered for class valedictorian and therefore would speak at graduation. The guidelines established by NCAA member institutions typically do not allow head football coaches to attend events involving potential student-athletes at the date the graduation will occur, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Had the prospect been selected valedictorian, such a situation could be considered exceptional, and a waiver request would be considered so the coach could attend and help celebrate that future student-athlete’s academic achievement. The recruit was not selected as valedictorian, and the University of Georgia did not file a waiver request, contrary to comments attributed to the coach. Ultimately, the university decided not to file a waiver. If a waiver was filed, it would have been considered like any other waiver request from a member institution.