Hardship U.: Pupello gets waiver to play in '08
USF's magic with NCAA hardship waivers is still strong. For the third year in a row, the Bulls have gotten a waiver to allow a Division I transfer to play immediately without sitting out a year. Tight end Trent Pupello, a Jefferson graduate who transferred to USF from Florida in January, will be eligible to play for the Bulls this fall.
Last year, the Bulls got significant impact from such a transfer, as former Iowa State linebacker Tyrone McKenzie led the team in tackles as the starting strongside linebacker. Running back Jamar Taylor (Alabama) and special-teams star Lucas Darr (N.C. State) also played immediately after transferring. Two years ago, the Bulls got waivers for offensive lineman Ryan Schmidt, defensive tackle Julian Riley, and linebacker Marvin Peoples.
Pupello, 6-foot-2 and 276 pounds, hasn't elaborated publicly on the nature of his hardship, but said in December he was transferring to USF to be closer to home because of a "private family matter." He's expected to compete for a backup role at tight end after getting a brief look at defensive line this spring. He'll have three years of eligiblity with the Bulls.