That's the rumor floating around tonight. Vanderdoes had originally signed a National Letter of Intent with Notre Dame then, sometime after, decided that he would prefer to play for UCLA.
The speculation was that a health issue with a close family member played a significant role in the decision.
I don't necessarily agree with the decision to allow him to play because I feel it sets a strong precedent that negates the while concept of what the signature on the contract means.
Yes; the old debate "well, the coach can leave so why can't the player" will be bandied about, but the reality is that each has a contract and within the contract are terms and conditions that must be met for the party to negate the contract. In the case of the coach, there is a buyout. Yes, in many cases the buyout will be covered by the team that hires the coach away... but if you think that the coach does not cover that cost you are wrong. Even if the team pays 100% AND pays the coach whatever they otherwise would have, the coach has to count that buyout as income... and he gets hit with the tax bill for that amount...
Nonetheless, on appeal the committee apparently believes that the Vanderdoes situation deserves a hardship appeal. If that is the case, then there must be compelling evidence that someone close to Vanderdoes had a significant change in health. Let's hope that the rules regarding what constitutes a hardship and what does not get clarified.
If not, we could see a lot more recruits being wooed after signing a NLI... and when they decide to switch, don't be surprised by the multitude of reasons they attempt.
There is a current player on the Oregon football team who, after he had signed the NLI was still recruited by a football coach at another Pac-12 school. It was shady and sleazy, but it happened. The player was told "don't worry, we can get you out of that still." Now that a player has gotten out of a NLI, don't be surprised to see a lot more willing to take the chance.
It is a mighty big coincidence that one of the assistants on the UCLA staff was also an assistant at the aforementioned school that attempted to continue recruiting a signed Oregon player. (No, it was not the Trojans.)
A sign of the times? Maybe, maybe not. But it is a precedent. Whether it becomes a bad precedent or not remains to be seen.