As the summer rolls on, Kentucky continues to wait and see if Olivier Sarr will be eligible for the 2020-21 season.
The former Wake Forest center committed to the Wildcats back in May, but because he’s a traditional transfer, he would normally have to sit out a full season before being eligible to play at his new school.
However, the COVID-19 outbreak seems to be making it easier for players to transfer and gain immediate eligibility at their new school. The latest example is former Ohio State guard D.J. Carton, who the NCAA just ruled could play next season at Marquette.
BREAKING: The NCAA has granted @DJCarton a waiver and he is immediately eligible to play for #mubb in 2020-21 after transferring from Ohio State. Averaged 10.4 ppg. in 20 appearances last season and has three years of eligibility with MU. pic.twitter.com/cPYlZ7rI6Y— Marquette Basketball (@MarquetteMBB) June 17, 2020
Carton, who hails from Bettendorf High School in Iowa, is moving closer to his hometown now that he’ll play in Wisconsin, so that may have helped his case for immediate eligibility. He also cited mental health struggles as a reason he left Ohio State, so that may have also helped his case.
Still, seeing yet another traditional transfer given instant eligibility — and in a timely manner — is a good sign for Kentucky’s bid to get Sarr eligible next season.
Recently, Johnny Juzang transferred from Kentucky to UCLA and was also given immediate eligibility, though he’s originally from California, which likely helped his bid to become eligible for next season.
We’re also starting to get an idea of how much longer Kentucky may have to wait until learning if Sarr will be eligible.
Carton announced his commitment to Marquette on April 15th, then was granted eligibility on June 17th.
Juzang committed to UCLA on April 9th, then was granted eligibility on May 27th. That’s about a two-month window for both cases.
Sarr committed to Kentucky on May 6th, so perhaps Kentucky will learn his fate around the last week of June or first week of July.
In previous years, these processes would take much longer before schools learned if their transfers could play. Last year, former Kentucky guard Jemarl Baker committed to Arizona on May 14th, then didn’t get word on his eligibility until October 31st.
If the process took that long for Kentucky only to learn Sarr is ineligible, it would leave them with no time to find a replacement for next season. But because the NCAA appears to be ruling on these cases fast, it looks like Kentucky will soon know what Sarr’s fate is, then can act accordingly with time still left before fall classes begin.