UCLA would welcome Brandon Willis back if waiver isn’t granted


We were all set to apologize for going back-to-back with UCLA posts when we realized that doing the Bruin daily double may very well cause NBC Sports.com‘s college football editor’s head to explode.  In the end, we felt it was worth a shot if there’s a chance of such an explosive event going down.  Thanks in advance for indulging us.

Anyway, and way back in the early portion of this month, Bruins defensive end Brandon Willis had asked for and was granted a release from his scholarship so that he could move back to North Carolina and play for the Tar Heels.

UNC subsequently announced in a press release less than two weeks ago that Willis, who had transferred from UNC to UCLA last year, had signed a scholarship agreement with the school and would play for the Tar Heels in 2011, provided he was granted a waiver by the NCAA that would make him eligible immediately.

We had assumed that the reason for the transfer — to be closer to his ailing grandmother — would make the waiver a lock.  While that will still likely be the case in the end — although, to quote an old axiom, to assume what the NCAA will do makes an ass out of them and them — Rick Neuheisel has yet to receive official word that Willis has been granted the waiver, and said the team would welcome the defensive lineman back if he’s denied by the NCAA.

“We have signed the release and want him to explore his options, and make sure he is meeting his family obligations,” Neuheisel said. “As of yet he has not enrolled at North Carolina.”

UNC stated in the press release announcing Willis’ (tentative) return that he will enroll in UNC’s first session of summer school this May, so the fact that he’s not in class at his transfer destination means, literally, nothing.  Still, there’s just something odd, to say the least, about this entire situation.