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Olivier Sarr’s case for an NCAA waiver for immediate eligibility

Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Wake Forest big man Olivier Sarr has committed to Kentucky. Now, the question becomes, will the NCAA grant his waiver for immediate eligibility, or make him sit out a season?

As of now, it looks like the NCAA will not pass the one-time transfer rule this year, but Sarr has a pretty good case for a waiver. When Sarr was considering testing the NBA Draft waters in April, the school told him Danny Manning would return and Manning himself talked Sarr into coming back for another season instead of going pro.

“I wanted to test the [NBA draft] waters,” Sarr told ESPN last week. “I requested the UAC [Undergraduate Advisory Committee]. I tried to test the waters, then I had a conversation with Coach and he convinced me to stay and get my degree. He had plans for me, I was going to do great things in the ACC, with the team and individually, of course. It was late April, Coach was going to stay. Then, 24-48 hours before the [draft] deadline, Coach got fired. I didn’t get the chance to put my name in and change my mind.”

Sarr told ESPN he has too many credits remaining to become a grad transfer and that if his waiver isn’t accepted, he will pursue professional options instead of sitting out. Also, while it seems like the NCAA grants waivers for almost any reason these days (why did Jemarl Baker get one again?), they are surprisingly stingy when it comes to granting them for players who have gone through a coaching change. Sarr may need Wake’s help on this, too. Schools have to sign off on a player’s release for the NCAA to consider their waiver. John Calipari regularly does this, but given Steve Forbes’ comments about Kentucky yesterday, will he cooperate or dig in his heels to make a point?

Former college coach and ESPN analyst Seth Greenberg voiced his support for Sarr’s case and implored Wake Forest to do the right thing.

Rivals’ Eric Bossi believes the NCAA will be generous considering the move towards the one-time transfer rule.

“From speaking to many college coaches, there is a thought that the NCAA is simply tired of ruling on transfer waivers (which is why they want a rule change passed) and may just elect to green light any reasonable waiver request,” he wrote today.

Fingers crossed.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

15 Comments for Olivier Sarr’s case for an NCAA waiver for immediate eligibility



  1. Han
    2:18 pm May 6, 2020 Permalink

    Hearing how they kept Manning so late gives him a better chance.

    Furthermore, would the NCAA rather have Sarr playing on Kentucky and contributing to their TV ratings, or leaving for Europe?



  2. lexattorney
    2:36 pm May 6, 2020 Permalink

    No way in hell anyone coming to UK EVER gets a waiver (or anything helpful) from the NCAA.



  3. JASUN74
    2:38 pm May 6, 2020 Permalink

    It would be nice if they thought like that Han, I just don’t think they care about individuals. They really need to change some things bad but in this case I think and expect them to grant a transfer. I don’t think Cal would have went this far without thinking he could play. Who really knows for sure, but I believe he’ll play this year for the Cats.



    • Han
      2:59 pm May 6, 2020 Permalink

      Cal did expect Kanter to play, but he’s now had like 8 more years to see how the NCAA actually does things, so hopefully he has a good plan of attack.



  4. Wildfelinebeeline
    2:42 pm May 6, 2020 Permalink

    I’d be surprised if WF signs the release. And our track record with the NCAA says they won’t support it either if they have a say in it. I hope the prove me wrong.



  5. Big Bry 1
    2:46 pm May 6, 2020 Permalink

    Let’s see… We all remember how NCAA (Emmert) treated Enes Kanter.



    • mashburnfan1
      3:30 pm May 6, 2020 Permalink

      Dumb to compare, not even close to the same situation. Lots of things in his favor, only thing that is not is that he still had 2 days to enter the NBA draft after the firing. Seems as long as Wake does not fight it he would gee the transfer.



  6. lexattorney
    3:03 pm May 6, 2020 Permalink

    I also wonder what, if any, effect this will have on DeAndre Williams’ recruitment.



  7. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
    3:15 pm May 6, 2020 Permalink

    “Just because the French didn’t come this fall, doesn’t mean they’re never going to come.”
    “…the inevitable arrival of the French.”



    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      3:18 pm May 6, 2020 Permalink

      “Trust the French.”



  8. 2Dogs
    3:33 pm May 6, 2020 Permalink

    Since he’s not transferring to an ACC school there shouldn’t be any reason for Wake Forest to try and block his immediate eligibility. And as far as the Wake coach’s smart ass comment about UK I’m hoping he may want to try and mend that bridge and put in a good word for immediate eligibility. But I’m the glass half full type.



  9. Bruce Dickinson
    3:55 pm May 6, 2020 Permalink

    In a fair and just ncaa he would get the waiver. We all know the ncaa is neither fair or just.



  10. UKCatAttack
    5:16 pm May 6, 2020 Permalink

    I predict this will be another Enes Kanter situation. NCAA cost us a Championship that year.



  11. BobbyBlue
    5:46 pm May 6, 2020 Permalink

    With proven, but unpunished cheaters at Auburn,KU, LSU, Arizona, UNCheats, Dook, Saar would be ruled eligible quickly.
    All others will depend on Emmerts mood with KY at the top of that list.



  12. BobbyBlue
    5:48 pm May 6, 2020 Permalink

    Sarr— I hate spell check !