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NCAA denies transfer waivers of players for Tennessee and Virginia Tech

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Not great news for UK with Olivier Sarr and Joey Gatewood.

Wake Forest v Louisville Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

For what felt like all of 2020, the NCAA was handing out transfer waivers to seemingly every college football and basketball transfer.

Now, the NCAA is actually starting to deny waivers, which could be bad news for the Kentucky Wildcats with Joey Gatewood and Olivier Sarr.

This past weekend, the NCAA denied a transfer waiver for Virginia Tech running back Raheem Blackshear, who transferred from Rutgers.

Then today, the NCAA denied a transfer waiver for Tennessee offensive lineman Cade Mays, who transferred from Georgia. Both Virginia Tech and Tennessee plan to appeal the decisions, so it’s not final, but still not a great sign for Kentucky.

Blackshear, one of the top transfers this offseason, had 912 rushing yards, 810 receiving yards and 12 total touchdowns as sophomore in 2018. He played the first four games of last season before deciding to redshirt, then entered the transfer portal on November 29th. He committed to Virginia Tech on January 10th of 2020.

Mays, easily the best offensive lineman transfer this offseason, entered the transfer portal on January 8th, then committed to Tennessee shortly thereafter.

Both Mays and Blackshear are similar cases to Gatewood, who redshirted last season at Auburn, entered the transfer portal on October 30th, then committed to Kentucky on December 5th. Mays and Gatewood also both transferred within the SEC and didn’t have any hardships to help their cases.

It’s also not great news for Sarr, who transferred from Wake Forest on May 1st of 2020, then committed to Kentucky on May 6th. The one thing he has is his head coach was fired during the summer, putting Sarr in a bad spot when it came to entering the 2020 NBA Draft. However, that argument isn’t as strong after the NBA extended its entry deadline to August 17th, which is today.

Before these two transfer decisions, I felt good about Kentucky having Gatewood on the gridiron and Sarr on the hardwood this season. Now, it feels like it’s anyone’s guess, which is typically the case with the NCAA and any transfer decision.