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NCAA approves Olivier Sarr’s waiver, SEC to determine official status

Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA has officially approved Olivier Sarr’s waiver, but the Kentucky center’s eligibility remains up in the air for the upcoming 2020-21 season.

As originally reported by ESPN commentator Dick Vitale on Tuesday evening, Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader has confirmed that the NCAA has signed off on Sarr’s waiver, leaving the final decision up to the SEC.

“The Herald-Leader independently confirmed [Vitale’s report] Wednesday morning,” Roberts reported. “The NCAA has indeed approved Sarr’s waiver request, but UK is now waiting on the Southeastern Conference to issue an additional waiver that would allow Sarr to bypass a transfer rule specific to the SEC.”

While the NCAA has approved Sarr’s waiver, SEC bylaw 14.1.15 states that student-athletes with less than two years of eligibility remaining must fulfill a residence requirement of one full academic year.

“A student-athlete who, upon enrollment at the certifying institution, has less than two years of eligibility remaining shall not be eligible for intercollegiate competition at a member institution until the student has fulfilled a residence requirement of one full academic year (two full semesters) at the certifying institution,” the official bylaw states.

While the official rule doesn’t seem to favor Sarr in this specific case – the former Wake Forest center has one year of eligibility remaining – it does go on to state that student-athletes may request a waiver for numerous circumstances.

“A member institution may request a waiver from the Conference office for a student-athlete transferring from an institution discontinuing a sport, provided that the student-athlete cannot complete his or her eligibility at the institution discontinuing the sport, or for a student-athlete transferring for the purpose of enrolling in an academic program not offered at the institution from which he or she is transferring,” the bylaw continues.

According to the Herald-Leader, UK has been given “no indication” as to when the SEC could make a final ruling.

Either way, the NCAA’s portion of the issue is no longer a concern. Now, Sarr’s fate is officially in the hands of SEC commissioner Greg Sankey.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

69 Comments for NCAA approves Olivier Sarr’s waiver, SEC to determine official status

  1. CJKAssassin123
    1:04 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

    This is just plain ridiculous. Horrible, horrible,rule.

    • Megan
      4:44 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

      Nevertheless. It’s the rule. And Sarr does not appear to fit either of the waiver conditions.

      Instead of a hot-take gut reaction, use your imagination to consider why the rule exists. Maybe member schools don’t want to lose their 3-year investment in a player only to see him play immediately for a conference rival. Maybe they don’t want rival schools to benefit immediately from an impact transfer from outside the conference, though I would argue the graduate transfer rule already moots that concern. There’s usually a good reason for rules to exist. They’re not horrible because they don’t benefit your school in a particular case. The entire conference — including Kentucky, I imagine — thought it was worthy of adoption.

      If the rule is indeed horrible, the SEC will change it. (You’ll note, of course, they haven’t, so either it’s not horrible, or the SEC are a bunch of masochists.) In the meantime, you have to deal with what’s in front of you. Or whine. Your choice.

    • CJKAssassin123
      1:24 am September 24, 2020 Permalink

      Rules were meant to be broken bitch!

    • Skooms
      6:42 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

      Oh and Megan, I’m assuming you’ve NEVER crossed a street away from the crosswalk right? Most people call it a dumb law, but nevertheless, it’s still the law. Oh and that goes with speeding too, which I’m assuming you’ve NEVER done right?

    • dcforuk
      6:57 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

      Megan – are you really a girl? Someone below claims you are not. I think he may be accurate. Check out my post below. I don’t think your assessment of the rule is reasonable. I think that is because you are an antagonist. What do you think ma’am? Or, should I ask what do you think sir?

    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      8:42 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

      dc, that doesn’t add to the conversation.

    • dcforuk
      10:48 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

      Point taken CG!

    • Fitz
      11:03 am September 24, 2020 Permalink

      Actually, the SEC rule is a good one. Otherwise guys would be transferring right and left.

      I hope Sarr is enrolled in UKs Equine Management program, one I doubt WF offers.

    • dcforuk
      12:38 pm September 24, 2020 Permalink

      How do you guys transfer left and right if it’s prohibited by the NCAA? And, if the NCAA does away with the one-year sit out rule altogether the SEC would also follow suit so it just seems like it doesn’t make sense

    • Fitz
      2:24 pm September 24, 2020 Permalink

      There were over 40 D-1 coaching changes last year. If players were allowed to transfer without sitting year just because their coach left, then there would be many more transfers. The SEC rule prevents this from happening. Again, UK could have avoided this by having Sarr enroll in an academic program not offered at Wake, like Equine Management.

    • dcforuk
      8:51 pm September 24, 2020 Permalink

      So are you suggesting that if the NCAA eliminates the rule that players have to sit out a year are you suggesting that the SEC would keep their rule in place?

    • dcforuk
      8:55 pm September 24, 2020 Permalink

      I would rather take my chances with an appeal than look so blatant as to enroll in Equine Management. The appeal should state that he has a much better chance for gainful employment upon separation from College if he goes to Kentucky. He has a much better chance to be gainfully employed in the NBA if he transfers to UK than at wake forest.

  2. 2Dogs
    1:43 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

    So I’m assuming UK knew this rule and took a flier that they could get a waiver from the SEC? I can’t imagine they would recruit Sarr and not be aware of the rule.

    • BowdenQB4ever
      1:51 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

      Of course they knew, but they were getting desperate and didn’t really have any options better than rolling the dice on Saar. This is going to be a long season if we don’t get him, and I can’t imagine any other member schools wanting to help us get up off the mat.

    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      4:42 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

      Unfortunately I agree. We’ve whiffed on so many big men they thought it was worth a shot to get Sarr and hope for the best.

    • dcforuk
      7:18 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

      It was worth a shot and I think he will get a waiver because I think that rule is stupid compared to the intra-transfer rule that Gatewood is trying to get a waiver from. I understand the member schools wanting to restrict Conference to conference transfers within the SEC. This rule, however, seems to be a foolish rule based on insecure Conference schools.

    • dcforuk
      7:22 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

      Maybe I am wrong in that assessment but somebody give me a good reason that such a rule exists. The NCAA already has a rule on the books. Why set up a rule that the NCAA already has one for. And if the NCAA Approves a waiver then you can approach it like they are approving the waiver for a good cause. To me this one just does not make any sense and I don’t understand this rule compared to the SEC school transfer to SEC school rule that’s getting Gatewood held up. Often rules are just a way to make life and operations functional so there could be something going on there which I understand from the NCAA’s perspective but I still don’t understand it from the Conference perspective. If there’s anyone that can explain it who has a good explanation and is not simply a hater then start typing because I’d love to know

  3. mcmermaid
    1:46 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

    If Sarr went to summer school, would the current semester be his second semester. If so, could he play beginning after the semester ends in December? Let’s find out if he went to summer school at UK.

  4. runningunnin.454
    2:04 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

    We have bigger problems. There should have been a manslaughter charge; wanton endangerment charge is ridiculous. Basically, they said to hell with the person that died; just don’t shoot a neighbor or bystander…or a mailman, or a grubhub guy delivering cheeseburgers. So sad, praying for the people of Louisville.

    • Go Deep
      2:50 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

      You need to acquaint yourself with the facts and not just what you’ve heard. Listen to what the AG said.

    • peaches76
      2:57 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink


    • bigblue98
      3:25 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

      There’s an easy answer for this. Hook Walker up to a lie detector test – Question: Did you hear and know that the police were knocking at the door?

    • michaelb
      3:42 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

      Vote the pro crime governor out Starting solution

    • ReformedWestCoastCat
      4:49 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

      Unfortunately, without some transparency from LMPD and/or AG Cameron, we won’t get all the facts…

  5. Bigblueswami
    2:11 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

    Am I wrong about this? Wasn’t Kerry Blachshear Jr in the same boat last year? He played 3 years at V.Tech.

    • runningunnin.454
      2:19 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

      Blackshear was a grad transfer; that’s different.

    • ClutchCargo
      2:19 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

      Different situation. Blackshear was a graduate transfer.

  6. ukcamel
    2:55 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

    So the SEC has to decide whether to unilaterally put its schools at a disadvantage against schools from any other conference. Well ok.

    • michaelb
      3:44 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

      Lol yes .. that really is the bottom line . Commissioners like holding the power so they drag it out

  7. millertim
    2:57 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

    Okay SEC don’t blow this… UK is your flagship basketball school and the one that brings ANY prestige and HUGE MONEY to the conference. This is an old, antiquated rule that needs to be removed from the books. Rule Saar eligible and remove the stupid rule. Collegiate sports is evolving and you need to catch up…

    • serdi
      5:51 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

      The basketball world outside the SEC footprint as well as in the Commonwealth realize that UK is the flagship for basketball in the SEC. But within the SEC Office in Birmingham, EVERYTHING is done to diminish the fact that the winningest basketball program of all time is the flagship. Not providing Sarr and UK with a waiver will not be big issue to the SEC because it helps keep UK down. The only concern voiced on such a decision will be outside the SEC footprint.

    • BowdenQB4ever
      8:09 am September 24, 2020 Permalink

      @serdi it’s on the staff, not the sec. They’ve been playing this revolving door game with our roster, in belief that once our kids dominated the NBA we would be cleaning up with elite recruits and the game could continue. That hasn’t happened for several years now, and it finally caught up with them. I know people don’t like hearing it, but it’s a tough job and it’s worn cal down. He’s going to coast through 4-5 more years, chill with his buddy bruiser, and ride off into the sunset. He knows he had every opportunity to catch UCLA and he let it slip away, that has to hurt.

    • justaguyinthebackrow
      11:08 am September 24, 2020 Permalink

      LOL, now we have UCLA fans trolling us?

  8. dhard
    3:00 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

    Enes Kanter round 2.

    3:02 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

    This is simple SEC, just do what you would normally do if this was Alabama and a top football player.

    • serdi
      5:46 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

      ABSOLUTELY. They would do it for football and especially one of the big boys in football.

      Sankey has no credibility with me because he how he let North Carolina at Chapel Hill skate.

  10. michaelb
    3:40 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

    What a crock

  11. michaelb
    3:45 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

    This hold up would only make sense if saar was considering each & every sec school in his recruitment… I don’t remember that being the case

  12. jaws2
    4:01 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

    “We have bigger problems”.
    Police officers had a no knock warrant based on months of investigating the location, but they knocked and announced anyway according to witness, no one answered so they busted in. A guy fired on them, hit an officer in the artery in his thigh, and they returned fire, according to the actual shooter. A woman was in the line of fire and was shot by the police. The shooter was so concerned he called his mom first not 911. No doubt a real tragedy.
    Here’s the real PROBLEM.
    Some people believe the American judicial system should be guilty until you prove you’re innocence. Some people believe the officers were just out looking to kill some black people. Some people think destroying public, and private property and burning a city down is the answer to all ills. Some people think every white American is a racist. Some people think having a black Attorney General leading the investigation isn’t good enough because his ‘team’ of 4 was white. Some people are like sheep following every innuendo, media coverage, and social media believing it all with no supporting evidence. THAT runninggun is the REAL PROBLEM.

    • UKFaninCO
      4:20 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink


    • runningunnin.454
      4:53 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

      Respectfully, jaws2 your 2nd paragraph doesn’t apply to me, at all; I don’t believe any of that.
      Now, the point I made was in regard to the wanton endangerment charge; we have a death, and the charge does not address that death directly. When I went to get my KY Concealed Carry Permit, I had to watch hours of videos of lawyers discussing the law, and wanton endangerment was covered.
      So, was Breonna Taylor firing at the officers? Can they fire when an unarmed person is in the line of fire? They shot the wrong person. That said, I don’t believe the police in general are systemically racist.
      No, I don’t believe in destroying property, looting, and burning; but, I’m afraid that people are not satisfied with the GJ charge, and that is what the city is facing tonight.

    • runningunnin.454
      4:58 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

      Another problem is that Grand Jury proceedings are not public, and people don’t get all the facts. That’s why I think a charge of manslaughter would have satisfied the people in the streets, and then, a trial would be public.

    • dcforuk
      5:16 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

      Your Question. Can they fire when an unarmed person is in the line of fire?

      Answer. Please look at your question closely again.

    • dcforuk
      5:24 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

      Should justice be about satisfying people in the streets? Is justice about satisfying people in the streets? if I was stranded on a deserted island with two other people and those two other people decided to have their way with me, You could call that a number of different things. One of the things that you could call that would be “democracy.”

    • runningunnin.454
      7:11 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

      dc; perhaps you should tell me what’s wrong with that question…would save time. I’m sure if you are a hostage, and the perp is hiding behind you…you might think that the police should not open fire.
      Now, should justice satisfy the people in the streets; ideally no, but we could ask Louis xvi or Nicholas II, but they were executed.

    • dcforuk
      7:27 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

      I’ve made my statement. It is a dialogue of diminishing returns at this point.

    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      8:35 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

      RG, there are some who believe Taylor’s boyfriend used her as a human shield. I have no idea if that’s right. However, if he was behind her while (or very shortly after) firing at the cops, it sounds plausible, especially since he apparently wasn’t hit and she was hit several times.

      Anyway, the other issue that a lot of folks don’t want to talk about is Taylor’s own history with the ex-boyfriend. The evidence that was leaked to WKYT indicated that she was involved in his drug dealing by handling the money.

    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      8:50 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

      Aaaaaaaand Tucker Carlson just said they’re trying to confirm a report that a cop in Louisville has been shot.

    • CJKAssassin123
      1:33 am September 24, 2020 Permalink

      Good let them all die!!!

    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      8:53 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

      He just said it’s been confirmed.

    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      9:27 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

      And now a 2nd one. Brother. Prayers for the cops and the good people of Louisville.

  13. dcforuk
    5:21 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

    Ok, I actually understand if the commissioner does not approve Joey Gatewood’s waiver request but this one seems silly to me.

    Actually, let me rephrase. I understand the rule that SEC schools have to require one year academic residence for intraconference SEC to SEC transfers. Why do member schools care about applying that rule to Inter conference transfers in? Insecurity? That is far from capitalism And far from what a free country in a free society does especially if the NCAA grants the waiver. I’m not saying it’s any different than some NCAA rules; however, it just seems surprising. Now, the commissioners put in a situation where by if he doesn’t approve this request he looks like a jerk. Why put in such a rule when the NCAA traditionally doesn’t allow it anyway?

  14. jaws2
    5:36 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

    runnin You do realize that ‘wanton endangerment’ requires that you wantonly intended to do it? Seriously, you actually believe the officer wanted to fire through the sliding door in order to ‘endanger’ someone? And originally in his interview which was released some time back, and again some do not want to believe what they heard because it doesn’t fit the systemic racist cops narrative, Walker stated SHE fired the gun. If a person tells me one lie I’m a little hesitant to believe anything they say subsequently. Would you believe that in this given scenario in a 3-1/2′ wide hallway, that when fired upon first and a man down, officers would just stop because another person was in the hall as well? In America today NO amount of training is going to change that scenario without officers being killed. Her death is tragic without a doubt but in no way should those officers be charged and in NO way does it justify the damage done to any community. The third guy will not be convicted as well. If you can’t prove he intended to endanger ‘wantonly’, which is a HUGE stretch to be in his mind, he’s walking. With a change of venue, which any good lawyer will ask for, I wouldn’t even consider a plea.

    • runningunnin.454
      7:31 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

      It’s not my job to reach a verdict, and I don’t know all the facts certainly; I don’t know the proximity of any of the people involved.
      I am just saying that a charge of manslaughter would address Breona Taylor’s death; the officer would then have a fair trial, which would be public, and the officer could very well be exonerated.
      I do know that generally the police can not just start shooting all over the place, and if there is a death…that’s warrants a charge of manslaughter. A jury would then determine a finding of fact.
      I also know that the AA community is not going to continue to accept something they consider unjust.

  15. wildcat1515
    6:28 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

    Yes this was a tragic death but why isn’t anyone putting the blame on the boyfriend? He put her in this situation by selling drugs, and he had a gun and fired it at police. Did he not think about her at all or just himself? Maybe he thought someone breaking in but if he would have announced himself instead of shooting first, might not be in this situation??

    • BlueSteel
      8:45 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

      The boyfriend you’re speaking about had nothing to do with drugs, the warrant or anything. He has no criminal record and has never been involved with the police etc. Her FORMER boyfriend was the person that the police wanted to apprehend – And they had done so after serving a warrant at a different location approximately 40 minutes prior to all of this happening at Breonna Taylor’s apartment. Quite honestly, they really shouldn’t have been there at all. Her current boyfriend who was with her that night is a licensed gun owner. He shot because he thought someone was breaking in. There have been multiple residents of the apartment complex that heard the commotion etc. and almost all have said they never heard the police announce who they were. Only one “witness” said they heard it. One vs. 5 or 6.

    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      9:08 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

      Bluesteel, you’re correct that it was the ex-boyfriend, but as I mentioned elsewhere in these comments, evidence leaked to WKYT indicates that she handled drug money for him. She may have changed her ways, and her death was no doubt tragic, but there was allegedly a sketchy history there.

    • BlueSteel
      10:59 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

      Until the evidence is actually released all you have are rumors. That has been a problem with this case – many people make up their minds, dig in their heels and make judgements of others based on falsehoods.

    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      7:44 am September 24, 2020 Permalink

      True enough.

  16. Skooms
    6:29 pm September 23, 2020 Permalink

    Oh look it’s Big Blo So Tru’s wifey, Megan posting again. I’ve so missed your wonderful breakdowns as a “troll fan”. You only post when it’s a negative story so we don’t see you too often. How’s life as a UofL fan?? Still wishing those glory days would come back? Bless your little Lousyville heart.

  17. Section233
    12:12 am September 24, 2020 Permalink

    MAGA and UK basketball gotta love it! Herro for 3eeeee! Go Heat – waivers suck either way just let the kid play he go hosed should have been drafted and playing in the G league now but hey we’ll take him. Wish Richards would have stayed and up’s his stick but if ole Sarr can catch a lob and dribble handoff to BJ we might win it all.

  18. Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
    1:01 am September 24, 2020 Permalink

    Time to change our name to LSU then they’ll let us by with anything.

  19. Bluebird
    7:40 am September 24, 2020 Permalink

    Grand juries are not the hallowed arbiters of justice people in this thread seem to think they are. In 95-99% of cases, grand juries do exactly what the prosecutor in charge wants them to do. That’s all.

    The only people in the room when a grand jury meets are the jury members, a court reporter, the prosecutor, and whatever witness the prosecutor might feel like calling. Everyone there is sworn to secrecy. The prosecutor asks the witnesses whatever he feels like asking. He presents whatever evidence he feels like presenting. Nothing more. Witnesses aren’t cross-examined. Evidence isn’t challenged. It’s not a court of law.

    The fact that a grand jury decided to indict a single officer with minor wanton endangerment charges (not even, by the way, accounting for ALL of the neighboring apartments he fired into–only one of them), doesn’t mean there was no evidence to suggest greater charges. It means the prosecutor asked them, “Is there enough evidence to indict this single officer with minor wanton endangerment charges?” That’s all it means.

    Prosecutors are part of the same broken system as police. When police screw up, prosecutors support them. That’s how it works. That’s why grand juries almost never indict police.

  20. UKFaninCO
    8:29 am September 24, 2020 Permalink

    Shoot at cops, somebody going to die. Be smarter.

    • BlueSteel
      10:59 am September 24, 2020 Permalink

      He shot one time because he thought someone was breaking in!! Loud banging on the door… no answer when asked who it is and then suddenly the door comes crashing down – all of this after midnight when seconds earlier he was asleep. Tell me – what would you do?

  21. sharpshooter81
    11:32 pm September 24, 2020 Permalink

    If the SEC doesn’t give him the waiver, he should immediately sue the league to halt the decision. This typically goes in the favor of the student-athlete.

    • dcforuk
      8:49 am September 25, 2020 Permalink

      It feels like the SEC’s authority with these type rules should be a little less……like they should be with intraconference transfers. That said, it is easy to speak out of both sides of our mouths. The flip side is that states should have certain rights and the feds should stay out of certain decisions. In this case, would the states be like “conferences” and the feds be like the “NCAA.”