Fresno State transfer Jarred Hyder gained immediate eligibility Wednesday when the NCAA granted all Division I transfers in every sport the freedom to play without sitting out a season.
Cal coach Mark Fox has been confused and a bit frustrated that players across the country were granted transfer waivers but Hyder’s bid was turned down.
This frees Hyder, a sophomore guard, to join the active roster whenever he is physically ready. Fox said he has been dealing with an injury recently, so he was shut down in practice for a time.
Cal’s next game appears to be Saturday at home against Cal State Northridge, although only Northridge has formally announced it. Cal, 3-4 after beating USF on Sunday, does not yet show the Northridge game on its website.
Hyder, a 6-foot-3, 180-pounder from San Bernardino, averaged 9.1 points and 3.1 assists last season for Fresno State. He scored 20 points or more four times, including 26 points in his second college game against Winthrop.
Cal junior Matt Bradley, a preseason first-team All-Pac-12 pick, played summer basketball with Hyder in while the two were growing up in San Bernardino. He believes Hyder’s eligibility will provide the Bears with a boost.
In an interview after Hyder signed with Cal late last spring, Bradley said, “He and I were always a good 1-2 punch.”
Asked for a scouting report, Bradley said, “Off the top, he’s a really good competitor. He plays to win. Great defender. Really good shooter from outside. He’s a team guy — he puts the team first in front of himself.
“I just remember playing with him back in AAU he did what’s best for the team, even though there was a bunch of college coaches out there. He was just playing to win, and that says a lot about somebody, especially on the AAU stage.”
Hyder started 24 games as a freshman and will be given the chance to help the Bears at point guard, where sophomore Joel Brown and senior transfer Makale Foreman, who is more of a combo guard.
The rule change was executed by the NCAA Division I council, which gave eligibility to Division I transfers in all sports. Players were eligible as soon as Wednesday night.
"We are thrilled at the passing of the blanket waiver, as we believe it is in line with D1 SAAC, ensuring that all of our student-athletes have the best opportunity to thrive both academically and athletically," said Caroline Lee, vice chair of the Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. "In a time of great uncertainty amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, we feel it is in our best interest to grant immediate eligibility for those who have transferred in order to best support their mental health and well-being.”
ESPN reported the decision will benefit some high-level transfers, including Memphis’ DeAndre Williams, Butler’s Bo Hodges, Xavier’s Ben Stanley, Notre Dame’s Trey Wertz and Creighton’s Alex O’Connell.
The NCAA Council is expected to vote in January on a permanent one-time transfer waiver that would allow all student-athletes to transfer once without sitting out for a year before playing.
Cover photo by Connor Pickett
Follow Jeff Faraudo of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jefffaraudo
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