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USC cornerback Chris Steele’s waiver to play this season has been approved by NCAA

USC cornerback Chris Steele will be eligible to play for the Trojans immediately this fall after the NCAA approved his waiver.
USC cornerback Chris Steele will be eligible to play for the Trojans immediately this fall after the NCAA approved his waiver.
(Los Angeles Times)

After a dizzying recruitment saga that led him first to commit to USC, then sign with Florida, then ultimately transfer back to USC after a brief commitment to Oregon, five-star cornerback recruit Chris Steele’s waiver to play this season has been approved by the NCAA.

NCAA rules usually require a transferring player to sit out a year before being eligible. But the circumstances of Steele’s transfer, which his father told The Times in June were not due to football reasons, were apparently reasonable enough for the NCAA to approve him for immediate eligibility.

USC is still awaiting word on whether Bru McCoy, a consensus five-star recruit from Santa Ana Mater Dei, will also have his transfer waiver approved by the NCAA. McCoy has yet to practice with the team as he deals with an illness.

With Vavae Malepeai battling injury, USC is hoping running backs Markese Stepp and Stephen Carr continue to show progress in their development.

The circumstances involved in both high-profile transfers differ greatly. Steele sought his transfer from Florida because of the school’s mishandling of a situation involving his roommate, Florida quarterback Jalon Jones, who was accused of sexual battery by two female students. Steele, according to his father, requested a new living situation, but was denied.

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McCoy signed with USC in January, before opting to transfer to Texas. After practicing the entire spring in Austin, McCoy ultimately chose to transfer again, back to USC, due to homesickness.

Whether the NCAA decides to draw the line with McCoy, given the nature of his transfer, remains to be seen. His chances of being granted a waiver from the NCAA are believed to be much slimmer than Steele’s.

Steele, who starred at Bellflower St. John Bosco, is a huge addition for a young USC secondary that is wide open, four practices into fall camp. After spending the spring in Florida, Steele has been practicing with the team since camp began, as he awaited word from the NCAA.


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