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Waltz Leads Letter Urging NCAA to Grant Hardship Waiver to Florida State University Athlete

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thursday, U.S. Congressmen Mike Waltz (FL-6) and Neal Dunn (FL-2) led a bipartisan letter with ten fellow members of the Florida Congressional delegation to National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) President Charlie Baker urging the NCAA to reverse course on its decision to retroactively punish collegiate student athlete and Floridian Darrell Jackson Jr. for putting his family first.

Other signers include Representatives Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-25), Darren Soto (FL-9), Cory Mills (FL-7), Maria Salazar (FL-27), Carlos Gimenez (FL-28), Byron Donalds (FL-19), Laurel Lee (FL-15), Jared Moskowitz (FL-23) Kat Cammack (FL-3), and Daniel Webster (FL-11).

Last month, the NCAA denied a hardship waiver request for Darrell after he transferred to Florida State University late last year to be closer to his ailing mother.

Read the full letter:

Dear President Baker,

We write with disappointment in the National Collegiate Athletic Association's (NCAA) decision to deny Darrell Jackson Jr. hardship waiver. Darrell sought a hardship waiver in order to transfer to Florida State University in order to be closer to his ailing mother.

Growing up in Havana, FL a short drive from Tallahassee, Darrell attended the Gadsden County Highschool where he became a proficient student and athlete.  Darrell first signed with the University of Maryland before transferring to the University of Miami in his home state of Florida where he started 11 games last season and had 27 tackles, 3 sacks and 4.5 tackles for loss. On December 7th, 2022 due to the health condition of his mother Darrell announced his intentions to transfer to Florida State University in order to be closer to his mother. Darrell officially enrolled at Florida State University on January 9th, 2023.  We commend Darrell for his strong commitment to his family and support him as he

As you know on January 11th, 2023 days after Darrell transferred the NCAA Division I board of directors formalized rules to significantly tighten the criteria for undergraduate students who transfer for a second time to be granted a waiver to play immediately.  Given Darrell transferred before the NCAA transfer rules are disappointed with the NCAA’s decision to apply these rules ex post facto.

The NCAA's decision to deny Darrell’s request punishes athletes for supporting their families We ask that you reconsider Darrell’s hardship wavier due to the aforementioned circumstances.

We respectfully look forward to your prompt response.