Fabuluje receives acceptance into BYU

On Wednesday morning 6-foot-7-inch offensive tackle Tayo Fabuluje received word that he was cleared by BYU's admissions department and was granted acceptance into the university. Last year's Big 12 honorable mention offensive tackle for TCU will enroll at BYU this September and then head straight to the football offices to talk to the coaches.

"I was cleared and admitted this morning," said an excited Tayo Fabuluje. "I'm excited and I'm just looking forward to starting this new chapter in my life and doing the right thing. I just want to make the most of this opportunity."

Apparently quite a few people BYU athletes were also excited upon receiving the news.

"When we first found out, me and my good friend Kyle Collinsworth – who just recently got off his mission – were jumping up and down," said Fabuluje. "Everyone was really excited. I took a leap of faith and prayed about it and it's working out. I'm at awe at the opportunity I have.

"Ross [Apo] and Teu [Kautai] were going crazy too. You know, back home we all went to elementary school and high school together. Now we're all back together in college at BYU. They all went crazy when they found out that I was admitted."

So what's the process now?

"Well, what I know now is I can enroll in classes now and as of September 3rd, the first day of classes, I can go to school at BYU," Fabuluje said. "I can then effectively go and try and join the team. That's pretty much what I know within the rules now since Coach Patterson didn't release me. Once I'm enrolled in school I can go talk to the coaches, so once I get that going I'll be out there."

Since he cannot join the team until class starts on September 3, Fabuluje will miss all of fall camp, and because he was not granted a release from TCU, he'll have to pay for his schooling.

"With Coach Patterson not releasing me, BYU is not allowed to give me a football scholarship for one calendar year," said Fabuluje. "Technically I'll be a walk-on until I can earn a scholarship for next year, but, yeah, I'll be financing my own way through school. That way I can try and be with the team and be involved with team activities and that kind of stuff. It's because I wasn't released by TCU that I have to wait once calendar year before I can be put on scholarship."

After redshirting his first year at BYU, Fabuluje was released by Coach Mendenhall so he could go back home to Texas to be closer to his family.

"Yeah, because Bronco granted me a release I was able to immediately go on scholarship at TCU," said Fabuluje. "I had to sit out a year because of the transfer rules by the NCAA though."

Fabuluje was quickly admitted into TCU and was placed on scholarship in 2011. According to Fabuluje, the TCU administration petitioned for him to play immediately instead of having to sit out a year.

"The school can put in a waiver to the NCAA and they can either accept the petition to not have you sit out or it can be denied," Fabuluje said. "TCU tried that but the waiver was denied, so that's why I had to sit out the year. If the waiver is approved, you don't have to sit out the year."

Now that he has transferred back to BYU, Fabuluje is going to explore the waiver option once again and hope that, with a little luck, it might pass. Chances are it won't, but he doesn't want any rock left unturned.

"I don't know exactly what's going to happen now, but I'm definitely going to look into trying that option again here at BYU," he said. "If BYU does send in the waiver and it doesn't get approved, then I'll have to sit the year."

This is where things could be a little difficult for Fabuluje. He has two years to play two, so sitting out a year would only leave him with one full year of playing time. The optimal situation would be to play two years, so if BYU files a waiver and it doesn't get accepted, then what?

"I don't really know what the options are as far as greyshirting and all that stuff," Fabuluje said. "I'm going to take the best option [there] is for me. I just don't know what that is right now because I want to play two years instead of just one. I know the NCAA has the 40/60/80 rule that once your clock starts it doesn't stop even if you're not in school that year."

The 40/60/80 rule requires a student athlete to have completed 40 percent of the requirements for a degree after four semesters. To be in compliance, the student athlete must complete an additional 20 percent towards a degree requirement every two semesters, hence the ‘40/60/80.' So, could he greyshirt to preserve his final two years?

"I'm pretty sure when I enrolled my freshman year, that's kind of how it goes," Fabuluje said. "So, I don't know if I would be able to greyshirt a year and not have it go against my clock or the 40/60/80 rule."

Many BYU student athletes have left to serve a two-year LDS mission after enrolling at BYU, so the issue regarding Fabuluje's clock status might not be a factor. It's something unclear at this point, but something Fabuluje wants to look into.

"I don't know if not playing with the team or being enrolled as a greyshirt would stop my clock or not," said Fabuluje. "If that is an option, of course I'll take it, but I don't know how it all works with the transfer rules and all that. It's a good angle to look at it, but I just don't know if it's an angle that's possible."

It will all get sorted out in the end. One thing is certain, Fabuluje is happy he's been admitted into BYU even if that means he has to possibly give up one year of football. To him, the transfer back to BYU is well worth it.

"It is like Christmas day for me," he said. "I don't know what's going to happen this year or if I'll be able to play two years or not. I am happy though that I get to play at least one year here at BYU and I'm going to make the most of whatever time I get out there on the football field."

Cougar fans everywhere can welcome Fabuluje back with open arms.

"Today is a great day for me and I'm just excited that I can be back at BYU," Fabuluje said. "I'm excited to be here among the people and my friends to get going again. BYU's admissions made my day!"


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