PISCATAWAY − The NCAA has denied the appeal that Rutgers submitted petitioning for former linebacker Drew Singleton’s eligibility to be reinstated, coach Greg Schiano said Monday.
Schiano said the program is going to make one last effort, but was disappointed by the decision.
The issue stemmed from Singleton’s decision to play in the Gator Bowl in December. The Scarlet Knights received a late invitation as a replacement for Texas A&M and had just eight days to prepare.
Singleton, who had already declared for the NFL Draft and hired an agent, suffered an injury in the game that slowed down his draft preparation. The former Paramus Catholic star participated in Pro Day.
Singleton wanted to return to Rutgers and pursue his master’s degree while using his last year of eligibility to play for the Scarlet Knights.
“They want guys to play in bowl games,” Schiano said. “I don’t know, not many teams have accepted a bowl game on eight days notice, had two practices and went and played. I don’t think so. A draft eligible player comes back to play and to me that is pretty special. Unfortunately, he got injured. I just struggle. I think that’s extenuating circumstances.”
Schiano has previously said that Singleton accepted training expenses from his agent, but returned the money upon deciding to return to Rutgers.
Singleton has been around the team in training camp as a volunteer coach.
“I understand the whole amateurism rule,” Schiano said. “But eight days notice? That’s extenuating circumstances. I am not sure how you can define that. You get a team ready to go, get a plane during the second biggest outbreak of COVID and say that’s not extenuating circumstances. I don’t understand that.”