Kalen DeBoer reveals decision from NCAA on eligibility waiver for Zach Durfee
Kalen DeBoer revealed Monday that transfer edge Zach Durfee has had his waiver for immediate eligibility denied by the NCAA. Washington is appealing the decision, but as of now, Durfee is ineligible to play for Washington this season.
“He could definitely help us,” DeBoer said at his weekly press conference when asked if Durfee would have had an impact on this year’s team.
Durfee spent two seasons at Sioux Falls, redshirting in 2021 before recording 11 sacks in 11 games during the 2022 season. He was named to the NSIC South Division all-conference first team for his play.
The 6-foot-5, 255-pound edge spent a semester as a student at North Dakota State before transferring to Sioux Falls in 2021. Though he didn’t play on the football team for North Dakota State, the NCAA has still chosen to classify him as a two-time transfer player and will require him to sit out the year.
“The hard part for me to really see through is he’s only played football at one of those other schools,” DeBoer said. “And he was at the other one for just one semester as a student during COVID.”
DeBoer said they’re giving Durfee reps in practice to keep him involved, and he praised Durfee’s mindset throughout the process.
“He knows there’s a lot of football for him down the road,” DeBoer said. “It’s just a matter of whether it’s sooner or later. But he’s a super positive guy. Even just yesterday, off the cuff, just sending me text messages. He just loves being here. He loves being a Husky.”
Durfee is just the latest in a long line of cases the NCAA has ruled on this season that have been needlessly strict.
Notably, North Carolina’s Tez Johnson became a national storyline when his waiver request was denied. After that ruling was handed down, UNC head coach Mack Brown said publicly what many others have thought.
“I don’t know that I’ve ever been more disappointed in a person, a group of people, or an institution than I am with the NCAA right now,” Brown said in a statement. “It’s clear that the NCAA is about process and it couldn’t care less about the young people it’s supposed to be supporting. Plain and simple, the NCAA has failed Tez and his family and I’ve lost all faith in its ability to lead and govern our sport.”