After weeks of speculation, sources close to the situation confirmed to 600 ESPN El Paso that UTEP was notified today by the National Letter of Intent Steering Committee that men's basketball recruit Isaac Hamilton was challenging his signed LOI with the school. The next few weeks will be even more interesting. UTEP will be able to respond to Hamilton's NLI appeal and then will wait for the committee's ruling. Should the NLI Steering Committee deny Hamilton's request, he would still be able to speak to the board by telephone for a second appeal to try and win his release from his NLI with UTEP.

Just two weeks ago, five star football recruit Eddie Vanderdoes won his second appeal and was released from his NLI from Notre Dame to play closer to home at UCLA. Vanderdoes successfully convinced the committee that his grandmother's breast cancer was the main reason he changed his mind about playing in South Bend. Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly refused to let Vanderdoes out of his signed LOI and disagreed with the decision to allow his former blue chip recruit to become immediately eligible to play for UCLA.

Hamilton is using a similar strategy to try and win his appeal and play closer to home so his sick grandmother can watch him. However, should the McDonald's All American lose his appeal(s), it is still very possible that he suits up for the Miners this season. UTEP head coach Tim Floyd has not filled his scholarship and sources close to the situation have indicated that Hamilton does not want to sit out the upcoming basketball season. Should the NLI Steering Committee rule against him, Hamilton's only options would be to play in Europe, play at a junior college, or enroll at UTEP and play for Coach Floyd. The normal process to hear an appeal is 6-8 weeks, but the NLI board could expedite the process so a decision will be made in the next few weeks. UTEP's fall semester begins August 26th, but Hamilton could always enroll late and still be eligible.