NCAA declares Colgate's Nathan Harries eligible despite church basketball league
Nathan Harries, who had one year of eligibility at Colgate taken by the NCAA for playing three games in a church basketball league, had his waiver approved and his season restored on Thursday.
Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the NCAA reversed its Oct. 21 decision to reject Colgate's request that a waiver be granted for Harries because the church league should not have been considered a competitive league. Harries participated in the league following a two-year mission for the Mormon church.
The NCAA's rule was adopted to prevent athletes who don't enroll in college immediately after high school from playing games in competitive leagues. Harries played on a family friend's church league team for three games after returning from his mission this past summer.
The NCAA chose not to let the issue go to the appeals process and did not release an official statement on the decision, but NCAA spokesman Chris Radford responded to the AJC's report: "I can confirm that Nathan Harries has been granted four full years of eligibility."
From the Journal-Constitution:
Michael Harries, Nathan's father, said he was "absolutely relieved" when learning of the NCAA's reversal.
"I'm thankful the NCAA looked at this for what it is," he said. "...They should've looked at it the first time. We thought it was a no-brainer."