NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Former Vanderbilt football player Brad Gaines says he's ready to challenge the NCAA in court.
Gaines, who made himself available for this spring's National Football League draft but was not selected, contends that he should not lose his final year of eligibility with the Commodores.
Gaines and his attorney, former Vanderbilt quarterback Roger May, contend that Gaines should not be considered a professional since he was not drafted and he never contacted an agent.
May said Vanderbilt would be named in the suit as a "nominal party" but the suit is actually against the NCAA.
"I just want to play football," Gaines said Thursday night before referring all other questions to May.
Vanderbilt football Coach Watson Brown said the case is strictly a legal matter.
"If the court rules Brad can play, we'll welcome him back. But we're not going to break any NCAA rules," Brown said.
May said Gaines' case parallels that of former Notre Dame player Braxton Banks, whose request to return to college football was denied today by a federal judge.
Before the Banks decision, Gaines said he may pursue his case even if the Indiana court rules against Banks, May said.
"If that happens, we will sit down and think about it. I feel the suit has merit, and Brad's case is even more compelling than Banks'. Banks contacted an agent, which is against NCAA rules, while Brad did not," May said.