Cuff gets ok to play at Georgia

ATHENS – The saga that was Vance Cuff's last few months is over.

Vance Cuff Profile

"I am excited," Cuff said to finally be done with the NCAA's regulations. The organization granted him a waiver to play at Georgia, he said this morning. "I am going up Friday."

"I can just feel a weight came off my shoulders," Cuff said.

The cornerback had previously tried twice to get a waiver to get into Georgia, but it has been denied both times. The problem caused quite a stir for Cuff, Georgia and his high school, but with the matter settled, Cuff can get back to football.

"We received word this morning that the waiver was approved," Georgia compliance director Eric Baumgartner said today.

"I had high expectations about that waiver because of the qualifications that I had," he said. "I never failed a class, never got in any trouble and I had good grades, and because of that Georgia felt pretty good about my chances."

Still, the University was not sold that Cuff was going to be easy to get a waiver for.

"Coach Martinez was very optimistic, but the compliance office was telling me that they were not going to give me a 100% chance of getting me in," Cuff admitted. "They were being straight up with me."

This was a curveball, too, for Georgia's compliance office as many close to the Athletic Department were stunned when Cuff did not get earlier this summer.

"You never say yes and you never say no with a waiver," Baumgartner admitted. "But I think academically the course was a very solid prep course and even could rise to the level of an honors course. I don't even think the question was, Is this a legitimate course? I think that's what helped us the most, this was a college prep course."

Cuff, for his part, is speechless about the NCAA and the difficulty he had getting into school.

"I really don't know what to say about the NCAA," Cuff said cautiously. "I have always hoped to deal with a human on not a computer. They are humans just like us. I am glad they did the right thing on my behalf."

"The coaching staff is happy," Baumgartner said. "But most importantly it's good for the young man to have this opportunity to prove what he did in high school.

Cuff went on to say while he would have liked to been on campus earlier in the year, he it glad to finally get on campus where he will room with teammate Neland Ball.

"By going through it I feel stronger. I don't feel cheated. I am glad the waiver came through. I really feel like we deserved it," he said.

Cuff admitted that he would not have wanted to go to Georgia Military Academy, but would have done so to get to Georgia. GMC was the likely destination for the South Georgia star had the waiver not come through.

"I thought I was headed to GMC because it was taking so long," Cuff said. "I thought that there are a lot of guys in my situation, so I was just patient. I would have gone to GMC and done what I needed to do there."

That, however, is no longer in the plans. Now Cuff will do what he needs to do in Athens – where he belongs.

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