Williams reinstatement process begins

Mike Williams announced that he has sent in his paperwork to USC which will begin the process of applying for reinstatement with the NCAA. Williams appeared as a guest today on the Petros Papadakis radio show and gave an update on the latest developments in his quest to play football in 2004

Mike Williams announced that he has sent in his paperwork to USC which will begin the process of applying for reinstatement with the NCAA. Williams appeared as a guest today on the Petros Papadakis radio show and gave an update on the latest developments in his quest to play football in 2004.

The radio appearance by Williams was promoted as announcement of a "change of attack" by Mike in terms of his football plans and he opened the interview by giving Trojan fans a brief scare:

"I'm not going to be playing football in 2004. I'm going to play alongside Kevin Garnett, I'm a die hard T-Wolves fan, I can't stand the Lakers."

Williams quickly said he was joking and gave a recap of his plans:

"All the paperwork has been faxed in this morning to USC. I have no sports agent now officially. The most important step is that a report has been drafted and it will be sent out in the next couple days. By no means is this a slam dunk in terms of being reinstated by the NCAA. We're not in a position to put any conditions on them. We have to submit our case and see what they want. I'm not just going to walk in the door and start playing football, there's going to be some conditions that I have to meet in order to be eligible.

One of the hurdles is expected to be his academic standing after Mike missed the entire spring semester once he declared for the draft.

"Academically it would be the most gray area but I signed a waiver that anybody can sign in a similar position, I think Malaefou signed one when he had his family problems, and it's called a Progress Toward Degree Waiver. It means you take a semester off for whatever reason and it allows you to pick up with the academic standing you had when you left. Since I was in good academic standing, contrary to belief, that's one thing we're going after."

Williams said he has been in contact with Trojan coach Pete Carroll throughout the process.

"I've been talking with Coach Carroll. Sometimes we talk at great length, sometimes he just calls to make fun of my Wolves. We're still cool, we were never not cool as far as personally or man to man. I want to say he's real excited about the possibility of me coming back but he's like that with everything. He's got a lot of energy."

Carroll also gave his comments on the situation.

"Mike's been working on this for a couple of weeks to get it done properly. He had to get all his ties cut with his representation, he had to get all that clearly in order, and now that he's filed for reinstatement the university takes it from here. Mike's very clear about it, he understands very well that this process is out of our hands once all the paperwork is in. It's up to the NCAA to make their decision and we're trying to allow them some time to make a clear choice. Hopefully they will see that he was in a situation where he followed the law to the letter and now he's done the same to be reinstated."

Williams said this situation has given him a drive as he prepares for next season.

"There's not a football player on any level hungrier than I am to play ball."

Click here to listen to Williams and Carroll interviews


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