Surprisingly enough, I never got to the E.J. Banks stuff. It's old news, so I won't go into an in-depth recap. But in a nutshell, the local kid Banks was a three-star recruit as rated by Rivals and Scout, had signed with Notre Dame, took a medical redshirt in 2009, didn't play last year, and subsequently left the Irish.
Fast forward to about a month ago and Banks decided to transfer to Pitt. The news isn't that he's now at Pitt, but that he'll be able to play right away.
Unlike Brendon Felder, who was denied a hardship waiver, Banks got one and is eligible for this season. So why did he get it?
"He had a hardship with his family where he was having to be one of the primary caregivers to one of his immediate family members," Graham said. "They granted the waiver based on that."
"Last fall I found out that my mom was sick, and it was hard for me to be away," Banks said. "She didn't have any way to get around and she had to take off work, so there was a lot of things happening with my family and it was a tough situation for me."
Felder's case was reportedly about sick grandparents, while Banks' is about his mother. Obviously it'd be idiotic to minimalize Felder's case, but it's understandable why Banks got the waiver.
Unfortunately for him, though, actually getting on the field in 2011 will be an entirely different issue.
So where does that leave him for the team this year? Well, head coach Todd Graham says he hasn't played much in practice because they were unsure about his availability:
"EJ got his waiver, so he's immediately eligible," Graham said. "We haven't repped him a lot because we didn't know if he was going to be eligible or not. We're excited about him getting the opportunity to be eligible."
While I'm sure he's glad about getting the waiver, he's arguably going to be behind much of the rest of the secondary. And when you factor in that he hasn't really played in game action the past two years, it makes it even more difficult for him to catch up.
Nice to see him get the waiver, but it's hard to see him making any real impact this season.