Hawai'i Warriors coach Norm Chow will allow defensive back Michael Wadsworth to transfer to any school except the BYU Cougars, the Salt Lake Tribune's Jay Drew reports. This is especially noteworthy since Wadsworth, originally from Utah, is a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints, the organization by which Brigham Young is owned and operated.
Wadsworth doesn't even have a scholarship offer to transfer to BYU at the moment.
More from Drew's lengthy report on why Hawai'i has singled out BYU, which it's been set to do since even before Chow took over:
"The way coach Chow explained it, he believes BYU has an unfair recruiting advantage for missionaries," John Wadsworth said. "I don't know his motives. The thing he expressed to me is that he felt like [BYU] has an advantage with returning missionaries and he referenced the Riley Nelson Rule."
After Utah State apparently complained to the NCAA when quarterback Riley Nelson transferred from USU to BYU after his church mission, the NCAA enacted a rule that restricts missionaries who want to change schools.
Coaches have the power to block departing players to transfer to other schools, but are not subject to the same rules themselves. Earlier this year, Chow left the Utah Utes to take the Warriors head coaching job.
Wadsworth recorded a number of special teams tackles in 2009, but has spent the last two years on his church mission. His family denies BYU coaches contacted him about transferring during his time away. He has three years worth of football eligibility left. Coming out of high school, he was recruited by Arizona, BYU and Utah, but his best offers came from Arizona State and Hawai'i.
For more on Cougars football, visit BYU blog Vanquish The Foe.