As the Kentucky Wildcats await word on Olivier Sarr’s eligibility, the NCAA president has weighed in on athletes getting a one-time transfer waiver.
On Wednesday, Mark Emmert said he supports all college athletes being able to transfer once and play immediately.
Mark Emmert says he supports all athletes' ability to transfer one time and play immediately.— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) July 22, 2020
Of course, just this spring, the NCAA considered adopting a one-time transfer rule with immediate eligibility for any athlete who transfers moving forward, but that was tabled until 2021, largely due to the coronavirus.
Emmert blames COVID-19 for transfer rule changes being delayed.#SenJudNIL— Andy Schwarz (@andyhre) July 22, 2020
Even so, many athletes who’ve transferred this offseason — mainly basketball and football — have received waivers to play next season, almost as though the NCAA is giving out waivers to anyone brave enough to change schools amid a deadly virus sweeping through America.
In addition, Kentucky head coach John Calipari has expressed confidence that the NCAA will allow Sarr to play next season following his transfer from Wake Forest.
“Olivier’s stuff has been in. We’re waiting to hear. We feel confident, but you never know until you hear it’s good to go. He’s got a great case,” said Calipari of the waiver request.
But Sarr isn’t the only big-time transfer on UK’s campus waiting to see if he can play next season.
On the women’s side, Jazmine Massengill (Tennessee) and Robyn Benton (Auburn) signed with the Wildcats earlier this offseason and hope to receive waivers to play next season for what will be a preseason top-25 squad for Matthew Mitchell.
Then on the gridiron, UK recently applied for a transfer waiver for former Auburn quarterback Joey Gatewood, who signed with the Wildcats in January. The hope is he can play this season and compete for the backup quarterback spot behind Terry Wilson, who missed most of last season with a knee injury. Perhaps Gatewood could even push for the starting job if Wilson can’t get back to his pre-injury form.
Needless to say, these UK teams are anxiously awaiting to see how the NCAA handles their transfer waiver requests, which could play a big part in how successful their respective seasons are.