Have we been directing our complaints to the wrong organization this whole time?
After months of begging the NCAA to declare Kentucky center Olivier Sarr eligible for the 2020-21 college basketball season, broadcast legend Dick Vitale is reporting that they’ve already done their job, clearing the 7-foot transfer two months ago.
Instead, the ball is in – and has been for two months – the SEC’s court to declare Sarr eligible.
“BBN FYI the [NCAA] has cleared OLIVIER SARR about 2 months ago to be eligible to play,” Vitale reported. “But the holdup is that the [SEC] must grant a waiver due to a rule they have that states if a player that transfers has 1 [year] of eligibility he must sit out. However the SEC can grant a waiver.”
In a follow-up tweet later in the evening, doubled down on his initial report.
“[NCAA] & [SEC] should grant waivers to OLIVIER SARR,” Vitale said. “He was told his coach Danny Manning was coming back at Wake Forest so he decided to return & not enter NBA draft. Coach gets fired thus he transfers. I’ve been told NCAA has granted waiver. Now it’s up to SEC.”
Earlier this week, Adam Zagoria spoke to an NCAA source on Sarr’s situation and transfer logistics as a whole, who said it could simply be a documentation issue.
“Delays are typically due to a lack of timely document production,” the NCAA source told Zagoria. “Often we ask and the reply is slow in being sent. May be the issue here.”
Diving into the situation a bit further, Zagoria then noted that the SEC’s rule on transfers could also be a roadblock in Sarr’s efforts to earn immediate eligibility.
An SEC transfer rule could hold up Olivier Sarr’s eligibility at Kentucky, an NCAA source said.
The SEC has a policy that requires undergraduate transfers to have two seasons of competition remaining, the source said. The 7-foot Frenchman completed three years of play at Wake Forest before transferring in May. Sarr averaged 13.7 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game as a junior last season, notching 11 double-doubles. He was arguably the top transfer on the market this spring. [ZagsBlog.com]
Given Kentucky’s need for Sarr this year, it’s hard to believe the school failed to provide proper documentation in a timely manner. The latter situation? That’s certainly more realistic.
Assuming Vitale’s report is accurate, it sounds like Sarr’s fate now rests in the hands of SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey.