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Jimmy Patronis threatens legal action to let defensive tackle Darrell Jackson Jr. play

Florida CFO threatens to act 'soon' if NCAA doesn't 'reverse course' on Miami transfer's request to play for Seminoles in 2023
Jimmy Patronis and Darrell Jackson Jr.
Posted at 2:34 PM, Oct 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-06 14:57:08-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis is threatening to take legal action if the NCAA doesn't reverse its decision and allow Florida State defensive tackle Darrell Jackson Jr. to play right away.

Jackson, who began his college career at Maryland and played for Miami last season before transferring to Florida State, was denied a waiver request to play for the Seminoles this fall.

The waiver request was for Jackson to be closer to his sick mother, who lives in Quincy, about 25 miles northwest of Tallahassee.

Miami Hurricanes defensive tackle Darrell Jackson Jr. sacks Texas A&M Aggies QB Max Johnson, Sept. 17, 2022
Miami defensive lineman Darrell Jackson Jr. sacks Texas A&M quarterback Max Johnson during the first quarter Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, in College Station, Texas.

Because he has already transferred once and is still an undergraduate student, Jackson had to petition the NCAA for a waiver to play immediately at Florida State. The NCAA allows student-athletes to transfer once without having to sit out a season.

However, after the NCAA reversed course Thursday on a similar situation involving North Carolina wide receiver Tez Walker, Patronis took to social media to blast the governing body of collegiate athletics for being "a bunch of out-of-touch hypocrites."

"NC threatens antitrust allegations and they punted to save face on their terrible decision," Patronis said on X, formerly known as Twitter. "#FSU's Darrell Jackson must play NOW. We'll take legal action soon if they don't reverse course."

Patronis is a Florida State graduate.

"The NCAA has placed him into a lose-lose situation: if you take care of your family, you can't play football? What kind of decision is that?" Patronis said in a statement. "I suggest the NCAA get back to recognizing the importance of family in sports and prove that it's more than picking winners and losers."

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., sent a letter to NCAA President Charlie Baker in August, saying Jackson's "hardship application deserves a second look."

Baker and Division I Board of Directors chair Jere Morehead cited new information provided by North Carolina as the reason Walker was cleared to play.

"The longer the NCAA takes to make this clear and obvious decision to allow Darrell to play football this season, the sooner we'll decide to pursue legal action," Patronis said. "I look forward to seeing a great decision in Darrell's favor from the NCAA very soon."