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University of Georgia tight end Luke Ford (45) catches a ball before a game between the University of Georgia and the University of South Carolina at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018.

This past Friday, the University of Illinois announced that the Division One Appeals Committee for Legislative Relief has upheld its denial for former Georgia tight end Luke Ford’s transfer waiver, shutting the door on his hope for immediate eligibility.

"The NCAA based the decision on guidelines used during the original decision," Illinois said in a press release. "No further appeal is available, and the decision is final and binding."

Ford moved back to his home state in order to be closer to his ill grandfather. In the original appeal that was denied earlier this year in April, the NCAA claimed that his grandfather wasn’t included in his "nuclear family."

One missing requirement to receive immediate eligibility was that his hometown of Carterville, Illinois is not within 100 miles of Champaign, Illinois, where the campus is located. Carterville is around 200 miles from Champaign.

"Time to get bigger, faster, stronger and do whatever I can to help my team," Ford tweeted in response to the decision. "It’s in God’s hands."

Ford played in nine games a season ago for the Bulldogs, and coming out of high school was the No. 1 player from Illinois, per 247 Sports. Now, he must wait until the 2020 season to suit up for the Fighting Illini.

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