That changed today.
After months of investigations, the NCAA has decided to grant Sanchez a waiver to play for his final season of eligibility, making him eligible for the 2013-14 season.
Sanchez was originally ruled ineligible for the Johnnies this season based on the four minutes or so that he played for the Dominican Republic national team in 2010 (when he was over the age of 21).
“It’s three minutes and thirty-eight seconds. It’s nothing,” Sanchez said on Tuesday. ”Three minutes and thirty-eight seconds to represent my country. It’s not making sense to me.”
According to St. John’s blog Rumble in the Garden, “a strong public relations push by St. John’s and his lawyer Robert Orr to overturn the NCAA’s ruling resulted in national press from the likes of Jay Bilas and Dana O’Neil. Combined with the financial hardships faced by Sanchez, who moved to Spain with his father to help support his grandmother, the Sanchez story had appeal to many beyond the St. John’s fanbase.”
The 6-foot-9 soon-to-be 25 year old starred at JUCO Monroe College (NY) prior to transferring to St. John’s. As a freshman, Sanchez averaged 8.5 points, 11.5 rebounds and an incredible 4.3 blocks on his way to being a 2010-11 honorable mention JUCO All-American. Sanchez followed up with averages of 10.2 points, 8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game as a sophomore.
Both Lavin and Sanchez – and all Red Storm fans obviously – are hopeful that the newly declared eligible big will be able to return to his old form.
For hoops, hip-hop and other random sports and pop culture commentary, follow Jared Mintz on Twitter @JaredMintzTruth.