Drew Ott’s chance at a fifth year of eligibility with the Iowa football team rests in the hands of the NCAA, not the Big Ten Conference.
The University of Iowa on Monday announced that the defensive end’s petition had been moved to the sanctioning body of college sports.
In a statement, the UI said: “In regards to the University of Iowa appeal on behalf of Drew Ott, the Big Ten Conference has granted the UI’s request to forward the petition to the NCAA, where a decision will be rendered on his request for an additional year through the Medical Hardship Waiver process.”
There was no timetable given. This can be seen as good news, that even though Ott did not meet one of the basic requirements for a medical hardship — he played in more than 30 percent of Iowa’s games in 2015 (6 of 14) — the possibility is still alive.
Ott appeared at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis this past week to interview with teams, but he didn’t participate in physical drills as he recovers from reconstructive left elbow surgery and right knee surgery after tearing his ACL Oct. 10 vs. Illinois.
Ott told Cleveland.com in Indianapolis that he expected a decision in two weeks. It's a unique case, because Iowa can argue that Ott only played in two full games (Illinois State and Wisconsin) and was limited to parts of four others for the Hawkeyes last fall.
“I've worked through it, I've been dealing with it for a couple months now," Ott said. "I'm not too worked up about it. I'll be fine either way.
“They're just doing their job, making sure it's a legit case and taking their time with it.”