The NCAA, no stranger to controversial and seemingly nonsensical rulings, has denied a hardship waiver for a Rutgers guard whose father and brother died in a two-month period last season, reports the New York Post's Zach Braziller.
The NCAA grants the waivers - which let a transfer play immediately - for athletes to be closer to a sick relative, among other reasons. But the deaths of two loved ones apparently isn't enough.
Kerwin Okoro, a New York native, wanted to be closer to home - and his mother - after losing his father Stanislaus to a stroke and his brother Idiongo to colon cancer. He transferred from Iowa State to Rutgers and was expected to be a part of new coach Eddie Jordan's rotation this season.
“I think it’s crazy,” Abdu-Allah Torrence, Okoro's AAU coach, told Braziller. “It was hard on the whole family. The biggest [reason for coming home] was being a support system for his mom.”
The transfer rules don't say anything about the death of a family member, so the NCAA appears to be following its own rules. (The NCAA and Rutgers did not comment to Braziller.)
But it feels like a case earlier this week, where a former Marine was denied immediate eligibility at Middle Tennessee State University for playing in a rec league while in the service. After an outcry, the NCAA declared Steven Rhodes eligible.
Common sense could prevail again in Okoro's case, but for the time being, he is keeping his opinions to himself. “I’ll make the wise decision of staying off social networks today, ’cause if I express my feelings right now, I might just say the wrong thing,” Okoro tweeted.