Central Michigan DB Brian Edwards has initial waiver for immediate eligibility denied by NCAA

Central Michigan defensive back Brian Edwards goes through stretches during fall camp Aug. 5 at the Bennett Track Field.

A serious boost to the Central Michigan secondary has spent his time away from the field in the early parts of the 2019 season. 

For the time being, it's going to stay that way.

The NCAA has denied defensive back Brian Edwards' initial waiver for immediate eligibility, making him unable to play until further notice.

However, the appeals process for Edwards' case is on-going, CMU Athletic Director Michael Alford said in a statement to Central Michigan Life.

“Brian Edwards‘ initial wavier for immediate eligibility has been denied but the appeals process is on-going," Alford told the newspaper. "We will not make any additional comments until a final determination of Brian’s status has been made.”

Undergraduate transfers at the Division I level are required to sit out for one season, unless the NCAA approves a waiver granting immediate eligibility. For the NCAA to approve a waiver, the certain athlete needs to show documented situations out of their control that affects their health, safety or well-being.

Edwards transferred to the Chippewas, led by first-year coach Jim McElwain, from Florida before fall camp.

McElwain has not said what Edwards’ waiver case entailed, and Edwards has not been made available to reporters since his arrival.

"As far as the eligibility piece, it's in the NCAA's hands," McElwain said of the situation in early August. "It'll be interesting to see. It seems like the bigger schools get their guys cleared, but we'll find out about our school."

Edwards has two seasons of eligibility remaining, regardless of what happens. If his appeals are denied, he will be able to play beginning in the 2020 season.

If he returns for 2019, the 6-foot-2, 192-pound Edwards projects as a starter at cornerback for the Chippewas, even though his true position is at safety. CMU’s safeties, on the other hand, are strong with three key returners – senior Da’Quaun Jamison, sophomore Devonni Reed and junior Alonzo McCoy.

In his two seasons playing for Florida, of which one was in 2017 for McElwain, Edwards played in 18 games. He spent time on defense and special teams. He was expected to be in a backup position for the Gators in 2019.

Edwards was arrested for first-degree misdemeanor battery of his girlfriend in May and spent time at the Alachua County Jail, but the charges were later dropped in June due to insufficient evidence for the state attorney's office to pursue the case.

"First and foremost, I obviously recruited Brian. He's a wonderful kid," McElwain said. "I love his mom. One thing I always tell every one of the kids I recruit is, 'I'm here for you, and I'll do everything I can to help you.'"