Santino Marchiol is hoping to be eligible to play this season for the Arizona Wildcats after transferring from Texas A&M. The redshirt freshman linebacker would normally need to sit out a year, per NCAA transfer rules, but a recent policy change makes it possible for immediate eligibility.
And in the process of trying to become eligible, Marchiol has levied some serious allegations against A&M under new football coach Jimbo Fisher, who was hired over the winter to replace now-Arizona coach Kevin Sumlin.
According to USA Today’s Dan Wolken, Marchiol “witnessed behavior that made him uncomfortable, including, he asserts, an assistant coach giving him cash to host top recruits on ‘unofficial’ visits. Marchiol also said he and other players were evaluated in June practice sessions that were allegedly voluntary but were operated and observed outside the NCAA rule book.”
The information Wolken cites comes from Marchiol’s statement to Arizona’s compliance office as part of his transfer waiver request.
“I’m not a complainer,” Marchiol said, per Wolken. “I like to adapt to any environment I’m in. I was excited to take on a new challenge with Jimbo Fisher. I was nervous, but I like new things like that. I told my dad, ‘I’m going to be his favorite player here.’”
Marchiol is seeking immediately eligible under the NCAA transfer policy change regarding “documented mitigating circumstances that are outside student-athlete’s control and directly impact the health, safety and well-being of the student-athlete.”
Marchiol also alleged in his compliance statement A&M’s training staff mishandled the ankle injury that required surgery during his freshman year, causing him to miss that season.