Just about everyone was stunned when Brock Hoffman revealed last night that the NCAA had denied his medical hardship waiver
, a decision that made absolutely no sense and was based on two ridiculous reasons. Unsurprisingly, Justin Fuente was also "disappointed" in the NCAA's decision and had plenty to say about it at his press conference today.
To start, Fuente addressed the conversation that he had with Hoffman yesterday stating how Virginia Tech has Hoffman's full support and clarifying that this has nothing to do with the transfer portal.
"Obviously, touching on the Brock Hoffman situation, I spoke with Brock and his mother last night. They are understandably upset their request was denied. They still have, we still have an appeal left. Our administration is going to do everything we can to support him in that appeal. We understand there is a process that goes with this, we respect that process, we are trying to do everything we can to support Brock and his family. Through this time it is important to know this is not a portal question, this has nothing to do with the process of how you enter your name in the portal and that sort of thing. This is an eligibility question and a family matter," Fuente said.
After speaking on his conversation with Hoffman, Fuente wasn't afraid to share his own disappointment on the matter and praise how Hoffman has handled the situation.
“I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you I was disappointed, for a lot of reasons. The first one that comes to mind is the way Brock and his family tried to handle this was really professional and above board. This wasn’t an issue of Brock being upset about playing time, or using a coaching change, or moving from center to guard, or any other issue other than a very private personal family matter. From the very beginning it was never about lawyering up or any of that sort of stuff, it was about him trying to get closer to his family as they dealt with some very serious issues," Fuente said.
The reference to players transferring and receiving waivers when the only reason for transfers clearly appears to be playing time is a clear shot at how the NCAA gave Tate Martell and Justin Fields waivers, both of whom hired lawyers to make their case even before the NCAA made a decision unlike Hoffman who approached it as most do.
Fuente's praise of Hoffman only grew as he wrapped up his initial comments on the situation
“When you see a kid who tries to go about it as you perceive the right way for very real reasons and it doesn’t work out, it’s very disappointing. He tried to do this the right way, hopefully what we can hold on to is that he has an appeal and we can hope that through the appeal process that what many people view as a wrong can be righted and we can move forward. We are here to support Brock and his family, I think they are great people and I have really appreciated how they have been through this entire thing. Hopefully we will have better news as we move forward,” Fuente said.
While Fuente hasn't been afraid to tell it as it is at times (see his comments on Mook Reynolds and Adonis Alexander at ACC Media Day last summer), the fact that Fuente was unafraid to share his displeasure about an issue with the NCAA without fear of the potential consequences shows not only how frustrated Fuente is, but also how awful of a decision this really is.
Fuente did add that he can't personally do much and that for Virginia Tech, it'll be the compliance department leading the charge on the Hokies' end of the appeal efforts.
“Here’s what I’ll tell you, I’m not involved with the appeal. That goes through our administration and goes through compliance. To my knowledge, everybody has been supportive of Brock [Hoffman]. It would be in poor taste for me to go through everything that is involved in this because that is not how this works. Hoffman wants to leave (Coastal Carolina) and tells our compliance office why and provides us that and we submit it. I can’t say with great certainty all the details of what is going on," Fuente said.
We will have more here at The Tech Lunch Pail as Brock Hoffman makes his appeal to receive the medical hardship waiver that he more than deserves.
Photo Credit: Dave Knachel/Virginia Tech Athletics
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