Olivier Sarr committed to Kentucky on May 6th, and the school applied for an immediate eligibility waiver not long after that.
It’s now August 5th, and the NCAA still has yet to rule on whether or not he can play next season, despite handing out waivers to athletes in football and basketball that committed to their new schools before Sarr pledged to Kentucky.
So, what’s taking so long?
That’s a question ESPN commentator Dick Vitale is wondering himself, as well as if it has something to do with the fact that Kentucky’s head coach is John Calipari.
I mean analyzing a player ala OLIVIER SARR of @KentuckyMBB doesn’t require GENIUS STATUS : y would would it take so long ? Come on his Coach fired / Wake ‘s new coach supports his waiver claim . I have an idea could it be due to the following name C-A-L-I-P-A-R-I ? Just asking— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) August 5, 2020
It’s no secret that Calipari and the NCAA don’t have a great history, and Calipari has been very vocal over the years about the many things the NCAA does wrong.
Saying this, I doubt it’s because of him that the NCAA is taking so long to rule on Sarr.
I do, however, think there is something to what Calipari recently said about how the NCAA could take longer to rule on Sarr because he’s such a high-profile case.
“What they’ll do is they’ll red flag it because it’s Kentucky,” Calipari said. “It’s Olivier Sarr, who’s one of the best transfer players, and they’ll want to make sure, let’s really make sure we have this right.
“And they may take more time, but I don’t think it’s like they’re treated any different. No, I know they don’t treat it any different than any other case, but it is more of a high-profile case, so they’ll look at it.”
Calipari is right. Sarr is arguably the biggest transfer waiver case the NCAA is facing in 2020 in basketball or even football. No single transfer in either sport may affect his/her team as much as Sarr will Kentucky, by far college basketball’s most high-profile program.
Without Sarr, Kentucky is probably ranked in the 15-20 range of preseason polls and viewed as a team that ‘could’ become a Final Four contender as the season wears on.
But with Sarr, Kentucky has a strong case to be a top-five team that’s a Final Four contender from the start and could become a national title favorite by the time March rolls around.
While there continues to be confidence around Kentucky that Sarr will eventually be ruled eligible for this coming season, it’s always unwise to assume the NCAA will do the right thing, even during the coronavirus pandemic.
For now, we continue to wait on a decision that will hopefully be made very soon.
Go follow our Twitter page and ‘like’ our Facebook page to get all of the latest Kentucky Wildcats news and views.