QB Jett Duffey denied admission to CMU, will not play

(Photo: Jett Duffey / Instagram)

Jim McElwain was in search of a quarterback with Power Five talent, experience as a starter and immediate eligibility to lead Central Michigan’s football program in the 2020 season.

Texas Tech graduate transfer Jett Duffey seemed to be the answer, but the second-year coach will have to look elsewhere.

Duffey was denied admission into Central Michigan University. He will not play for the Chippewas and remains in the NCAA transfer portal as a graduate transfer with one year of eligibility remaining.

When requesting a comment from President Bob Davies, director of communications Heather Smith responded that Duffey is not enrolled as a student at CMU.

“Jett Duffey was not admitted and is not a student at Central Michigan University,” Smith said in an email. “Thus, there is nothing the president or anyone else at the university would be able to comment on.”

Athletic director Michael Alford and McElwain declined to comment, citing NCAA rules.

During his time at Texas Tech, Duffey was hit with two team suspensions.

Duffey was found responsible by Title IX for two counts of sexual assault in 2017 against an incapacitated woman. He was also arrested in 2018 for a disturbance in front of a nightclub in Lubbock and booked on a charge of criminal mischief.

The quarterback was suspended by Texas Tech for the spring and summer semesters for the 2017 Title IX charge. For Duffey’s 2018 arrest, head coach Kliff Kingsbury suspended him from team activities for one week.

A second Title IX complaint against Duffey, which occurred while he was at Texas Tech in 2019, was a factor in CMU's decision to end its dialog with the quarterback. A female student at the university said Duffey sexually assaulted her while she was incapacitated. The case ended in mediation, or as they described it, "voluntary resolution." Duffey was not suspended from team activities.

Duffey's attorney, Chuck Lanehart, was reached but declined to comment.

One day after the publication of this story, and after his alleged victim detailed the night she was raped by Duffey, Lanehart reached out to Central Michigan Life to give his response.

"Jett Duffey is a talented and gifted athlete," Lanehart wrote in a text message. "He deserves a chance to continue his college playing career. It is true he was accused of Title IX allegations, and he has always maintained his innocence. Texas Tech authorities found him not responsible for the 2019 allegation. He has never faced criminal charges or been arrested in regard to these allegations."

The 2017 Title IX case – where Duffey was deemed responsible for rape on two counts – was not prosecuted by a grand jury due to insufficient evidence. Lubbock County Deputy Criminal District Attorney Trey Hill said Duffey’s action that led to his 2018 arrest, punching a hole in the wall of ULofts, was not severe enough to file formal criminal charges.

The quarterback, who started the last eight games of the 2019 season for the Red Raiders, originally entered the transfer portal on Dec. 13.

Duffey announced his transfer to Tulane on Jan. 10, giving Green Wave coach Willie Fritz a replacement for quarterback Justin McMillan.

However, two days later, Duffey said that he was no longer headed to Tulane.

“I have decided to keep my recruitment open and continue to look for a new home,” Duffey wrote on his Twitter account, which has since been deleted. “I would like to wish the Tulane football program the best of luck during their upcoming season, and to thank them for believing in me.”

Duffey apparently did not meet Tulane's academic qualifications.

Eight days after Duffey’s academic qualification issues held him back from Tulane, he announced his transfer to Central Michigan. ESPN reported Duffey "would meet the requirements for admission" at CMU.

Duffey visited the CMU Athletic Department in January, but it has now been decided that he will not join the Chippewas.

Tennessee and Houston graduate transfer Quinten Dormady helped McElwain deliver an 8-6 record in his first season with a trip to the Mid-American Conference championship game and New Mexico Bowl, but he is out of eligibility.

Senior quarterback David Moore, who played in place of Dormady during a four-game period where he was dealing with a knee injury, remains suspended until October 2020 for testing positive for an NCAA banned substance.

The situation leaves the Chippewas without an experienced quarterback for the beginning of the season unless McElwain can secure a different player with immediate eligibility through the transfer portal.