NCAA grants hardship waiver to Rutgers' Kerwin Okoro on appeal

Saturday September 14th, 2013

This time, common sense has meshed with an NCAA appeals process.

Kerwin Okoro, a former Iowa State player who transferred to Rutgers to be closer to home after two recent deaths in his family, was granted his waiver for immediate NCAA eligibility, the school announced Friday night.

"I would like to thank the NCAA for granting me a waiver," said Okoro in the release. "I am very humbled by all the support I have received throughout the process, both from my basketball families at Rutgers and Iowa State. I look forward to working with my teammates and coaches to have a successful season. I feel very fortunate to be at Rutgers and close to my family. I can’t wait to play ball."

The aboutface from the NCAA brings to a close the most curious of the high-profile waiver decisions this summer. Okoro, who only averaged 3.6 minutes a game last season in Ames, Iowa, wanted to move closer to his remaining family in New York after his father and brother died within a three-month span. There's no telling how much of an impact Okoro can have on the Scarlet Knights' rebuild this season, but that's a secondary concern this evening. The NCAA righted what appeared from the outside to be a considerable wrong. As long as the organization remains in the hardship-evaluation business, it has to make sure decisions like this one are made correctly. It took too long, but eventually, in this case, they did.

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