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NCAA denies 2023 eligibility to ASU safety Xavion Alford

© Diannie Chavez/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Sun Devils have lost what would have been another key player to the NCAA’s new two-time transfer rule, as coach Kenny Dillingham confirmed today that safety Xavion Alford was denied eligibility for the 2023 season.

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“It’s ridiculous in my opinion,” Dillingham said in his weekly presser today. “There’s other teams throughout the country who play guys who shouldn’t be able to play. I just don’t understand it but it is what it is.”

Alford, now a junior, transferred from Texas to USC to ASU. He was not listed on last week’s depth chart after taking first-team reps at safety for most of fall camp.

Alford committed to ASU on Jan. 8 of this year. He started as a freshman in four games at Texas in 2020 before transferring to USC.

With the Trojans, he appeared in 11 games as a redshirt freshman, recording 31 tackles, a team-best three interceptions and three deflections and earned USC’s 2021 Co-Defensive Perimeter Player of the Year Award. He then missed the 2022 season due to injuries.

ASU has now lost two players to the new rule, as wide receiver Jake Smith was also denied eligibility last month. Smith had the same path to ASU from Texas to USC to the Sun Devils. Last week, the Arizona House of Representatives sent a letter to NCAA president Charlie Baker to try to get him to reconsider their decision on Smith’s eligibility.

A problem with the rule that many have cited is that it was imposed after many transfers, like Alford, had already made their decisions. Alford has been a vocal opponent to the rule on X (formerly Twitter).

For two-time transfers, the new rules state that: “An undergraduate transfer waiver will only be considered for student-athletes who transfer: (1) For reasons related to the student-athlete’s physical or mental health and well-being; (2) Due to exigent circumstances outside the student-athlete’s control (e.g., physical or sexual assault or discrimination based on a protected class); or (3) Assertions involving diagnosed education impacting disabilities.”

Will the local government try to get Alford’s ruling overturned too? That remains to be seen. Overall, this is not a good situation for the Sun Devils.

Arizona House of Representatives writes letter to NCAA in regards to their denial of ASU WR Jake Smith’s transfer waiver

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Brendan Mau is a Phoenix Suns insider and college sports reporter for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on X via @Brendan_Mau

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