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Dick Vitale believes Olivier Sarr will be eligible at Kentucky this season

While uncertainty continues to linger regarding Olivier Sarr’s waiver fight for immediate eligibility, one prominent voice in basketball believes the NCAA will ultimately decide to approve the Wake Forest transfer’s request.

In a string of recent tweets and conversations with various media members, ESPN’s Dick Vitale has said he feels Sarr will be eligible to play at Kentucky this season.

“Great news for [UCLA] having [Johnny Juzang] eligible as he will help [coach Mick Cronin] but also super news for [Kentucky] for [Olivier Sarr] being declared eligible by [the NCAA],” Vitale tweeted at the time of former UK guard Johnny Juzang being granted immediate eligibility earlier in the week. “Case for Sarr [is] much stronger than Juzang’s.”

“I feel that the NCAA will grant a waiver for [Kentucky’s] Olivier Sarr to be eligible this [year],” Vitale continued in another tweet. “Also based on the quick response on Johnny Juzang given a waiver [at UCLA], I think that the NCAA will be more lenient in waiver requests.”

In an interview with Shawn Smith of Go Big Blue Country, Vitale stressed just how important Sarr is to the roster, touching on his past numbers and overall talent.

“The most important decision facing Kentucky with this roster will be the eligibility of Olivier Sarr,” Vitale said. “If he’s eligible, it takes them to a whole new level because this is a legitimate player. This is a guy that’s done it at the collegiate level against big-time competition. There was a game last year, he had like 25 (points) on Duke, 35 – I think – on Notre Dame. I mean, this guy can play.”

“He’s an important player to Kentucky, he’s what they need,” Vitale continued. “If you look at their roster, they need that post presence, and he’s the best player in the transfer portal out of like 1200 kids.”

Regarding Sarr’s eligibility, Vitale doubled down on his optimism and pleaded his case for the NCAA.

“The question is, will he be eligible? I personally think, and I’ve been screaming about this on my website and Twitter, that I think it’s criminal that kids are at schools where coaches leave,” Vitale said. “I think there should be no need to request a waiver. I think it should be automatic.

“If a coach leaves – I’ll give you an example – and I don’t blame the coach, Steve Forbes has a great deal at Wake Forest. In the game of life, you want to advance. Obviously, going from East Tennessee State – a good school, don’t get me wrong – but it’s not the elite power conference of the ACC. Now he moves to that scenario, fine, then all the players on that team and all the players at Wake Forest where they replaced [Danny] Manning, they should be eligible immediately. There should be no discussion.

“He’s going, is he going to sit out a year? Forbes isn’t sitting out a year at Wake Forest, why should Sarr sit out? And to compound the situation, Danny Manning told him, “Don’t enter the NBA Draft,” number one. Number two, told him he was coming back. The kid was in a mixed situation.”

Check out Vitale’s thoughts on Sarr and his waiver fight in his interview with Go Big Blue Country below:

Do you feel Sarr will be eligible at Kentucky this season?

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

11 Comments for Dick Vitale believes Olivier Sarr will be eligible at Kentucky this season

  1. dcforuk
    1:27 pm May 30, 2020 Permalink

    As do I but it’s not slam dunk…….. Especially at my height!

  2. Megan
    2:06 pm May 30, 2020 Permalink

    The blowhard’s personal views don’t mean crap. Here’s a guy who still thinks we should have a jump ball after every tie-up. He has a point about Juzang. That much makes sense. But he goes off on rants based solely on his “this is the way I would do things if I were in charge” gut feelings, which he has a hard time rationally explaining. It’s mostly worthless. I think he mostly wants the attention.

    • CrystalBall
      4:28 pm May 30, 2020 Permalink

      Agree with you, Megan.

    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      8:59 pm May 30, 2020 Permalink

      Megan I agree with Vitale on the jump ball. I don’t like the team on defense not getting a shot at the ball when they make a good play. The NBA still does it I think.

      I know some don’t want a Muggsy Bogues (sp?) having to jump against a Manute Bol, but each team could pick who they want to jump after a tie up, just like at the beginning of a game.

  3. Headhurts
    2:18 pm May 30, 2020 Permalink

    Dicky v in your corner on this issue does’nt hurt so why not. We need Sarr next season.

    • luvmycats15
      11:27 pm May 30, 2020 Permalink

      I agree with you headache & personally, I like Dickie V. He has always shown nothing but love for our CATS.

  4. blueballs80
    3:01 pm May 30, 2020 Permalink

    I Sarr-tainly hope that he does

  5. IrishCat
    8:16 pm May 30, 2020 Permalink

    I’m feeling very confident about his eligibility, but only b/c so many prominent voices are speaking up about it. If he is, I’m as excited about this roster as I have been since 2015. Not only would we be deep and balanced, but it feels like these pieces just fit together more seamlessly than many of our teams. We won’t really know that until we play though.

  6. chris43
    9:50 pm May 30, 2020 Permalink

    I certainly hope that he’s eligible. He also has a much better case than Juzang as stated BUT this is UK and Calipari vs NCAA….fingers crossed.

  7. T-Town Cat
    11:40 pm May 30, 2020 Permalink

    So, if Sarr is eligible, is our starting lineup the first game Mintz, Boston, Clarke, Brooks, and Sarr?

  8. Park
    12:38 am May 31, 2020 Permalink

    Has anyone said if Wake is cooperating with his request? That will be the biggest issue. If they don’t, I don’t see him being eligible not matter how many experts chime in.