So Yale went to Princeton for a game of football. In the first half, Yale scored 3 touchdowns, and Princeton got 3 field goals. "Score is 12 to 6 in favor of Princeton!" the referee announced as the teams sat down on the sidelines for the break. "Wait, what?" the Yale coach was astonished. "Our house, our rules," said Princeton's captain. "In the first half, field goals are worth 4 points, and touchdowns are 2." Yale's coach, a fella named Walter Camp, scratched his head, angry but unable to come up with a counter-argument. "So what will a field goal and touchdown be worth in the 2nd half?" he asked. "I'll tell you after I see how it's going," the Princeton leader responded.
"We need some standard rules," Yale's coach said a few weeks later over a beer, "so it's the same game of football whether I'm playing those pansies of Michigan, or the awesome lads of Tennessee." "Sure, standard rules sound fine at first," Harvard's coach answered, "But who's gonna decide what the rules are, and who's gonna make sure we're all following them the same?"
"We'll decide the rules ourselves, Camp said, "We'll put together a committee representing all our teams to do that. And we'll hire some fellas to enforce the rules throughout the year."
And so the NCAA was born.
I tell that story* to make a point: the NCAA does have an important role. If they didn't exist, we'd have to invent them. It's kinda like the cities considering defunding their police departments, only to realize they need to create something else (that looks an awful lot like a police department) to fill the essential role.
Based on that early need that Walter Camp and other recognized, today the NCAA more or less does three things:
host and run committee meetings to decide on any changes to the rules from year to year
enforce the rules that have already been decided
run championship tournaments for many of the sports (but not FBS football, they run their own without the NCAA's help).
So when the NCAA decides no fall sports championship tournaments in 2020, they are most definitely NOT deciding "no fall sports." Because they don't have that authority. And at the same time, they're not giving up their other two duties.
Which means they're still enforcing the rules that we, all the member institutions, have agreed upon.
One of those rules is, a player has to sit out a year when he transfers from one school to another, unless he has already finished his undergraduate degree (the grad transfer exception) or unless he gets a waiver from the NCAA. Those waivers have, over the years, become pretty common for a player who transfers from a school in one conference to a school in a different conference. But, as Devo already mentioned, it's rare for a waiver to be approved when the under-graduate player is trying to go from one school to another in the same conference. I think just about the only time that has ever happened has been when the losing school agrees with the intra-conference move without delay (usually some real family hardship is involved).
So if we were to do the harebrained thing a few people in this thread have suggested, "go ahead and play him anyway," we will be in violation of the rules our university agreed to follow when we signed on as an NCAA member institution, and we will be punished for the violation. Perhaps pretty severely, like having all victories erased where we cheated.
And whether or not the NCAA is hosting fall tournaments really has nothing to do with that. Also, whether the NCAA agreed not to count 2020 as a spent year of eligibility for players (waiving that one specific rule) has no bearing on their enforcement of all the other rules, either. Even if some of the other rules are also in the "eligibility" chapter of the rule book.
I'd love to see Cade playing this fall as much as anyone, but if we don't get approval, there's no way we "play him anyway." That would be self-defeating.
* Dramatization (and simplification) of what really happened.
So last I saw on the good ole Volnation, was Cade applied rather late for eligibility (no one knows why) and was denied. I saw some suggesting maybe he'll pay out of pocket but that was wishful thinking at best. I don't think Jeremy Pruitt will simply let this go, but rather will push the envelope. Having Mayes and talent such as Darnell Wright, Wanya Morris, sixth-year senior Brandon Kennedy and Trey Smith will literally have me watching the O-line and the O-line period during a game. That's generational talent we haven't seen in a while for our beloved Vols, at that position.
Anyone got any new news? Will Pruitt let it go and walk away or do we have precedence on how coaches fight the vaunted NCAA?