CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - It’s a post that’s gone viral; pictures posted by Brock Hoffman on Twitter show his mom in 2017 shortly after she had surgery to remove a brain tumor.
In the post, he writes, “Crazy how today the NCAA has denied my medical family hardship waiver for my eligibility of the 2019 season. The waiver was for my mother having an Acoustic Neuroma (brain tumor) removed.”
At the time of her surgery, Hoffman was a football player for Coastal Carolina.
“That semester was pretty tough on me,” he told FOX 46. “Adjusting to school and dealing with that back home, it just made everything pretty tough,” he continued, “I was trying to go home as much as possible post-surgery to try to be there with her. It was just really tough because it was four hours there, four hours back on the weekend.”
His mom, Stephanie Hoffman is still dealing with side effects of her surgery: facial paralysis, hearing loss and eye sight issues. Her son says he and his family made the decision he’d transfer to play football at Virginia Tech, which was a little closer to home.
“Constant appointments,” he said, “and that's the big thing is transportation to those appointments because they're not 10-15 minute rides. They're 45 minutes to an hour and a half rides.”
Normally, the NCAA requires transfer student-athletes to sit out a season, but Hoffman applied for an exemption through the medical family hardship waiver. He says the NCAA denied his request.
“From your house to the new school had to be within a hundred miles,” he explained. “My house to Virginia Tech is 105 miles, so it's five miles outside the limit.”
Hoffman also said the NCAA drew conclusions about his mom’s condition.
“They said my mother's condition has gotten, I guess in a sense, good enough to where I wouldn't need to be there for her.”
Head coach Justin Fuente says they’re all disheartened with the decision.
“When you see a kid that tries to go about it for, what you perceive to be, the right way for very real reasons, and it doesn't work out, it's very disappointing,” he said.
Hoffman says he plans to submit an appeal on the decision within the next week.
When asked why he didn’t choose to play at a school closer to home, and within the 100-mile mandate, Hoffmann said, “the coaching staff and tradition about the program really swung me, and the people there being willing to support me and my family.”