It seemed like Gatewood getting a waiver from the SEC was a given after he got one from the NCAA. However, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey says not so fast.
Sankey went on Birmingham’s The Roundtable on Wednesday morning and had plenty to say regarding a player transferring from one school to another within the SEC.
“There is a very direct rule that says if you transfer from School A to School B in the SEC, you serve an academic year-of-residence (before said player is eligible to play). There are a set of NCAA oddity exceptions. Then in 2018 our membership created two more, one for grad transfers, and one for individuals on teams that face postseason bans. And people send in waivers, but one of the questions that should be asked is not what is the commissioner going to do. It’s why haven’t our members voted to change that rule?”
This might explain why Joey Gatewood has not received eligibility at the moment, as the SEC could be mulling over the decision to allow intra-conference transfers. The NCAA initially ruled Tennessee’s Cade Mays ineligible after he opted to transfer from Georgia (but have since ruled him eligible pending a waiver from the SEC), and Ole Miss’ Otis Reese is also waiting to hear final conformation on his waiver as well.
“So we’re inviting people to campus knowing there’s a clear rule, and now everyone points and says, ‘Well, you need to let people out of that rule.’ And one of the questions that’s real is why has our membership not acted to change, and the answer is because we have to work together. We have to be respectful.
“Could it change? Should it change? Might we manage it differently? Those are questions still to be answered.”
This statement might cast some doubt on if Gatewood can actually get eligible, although I would hedge my bets and place them on Gatewood being able to suit up for the Wildcats this fall.