After being denied by the NCAA for immediate eligibility to play in the 2013-14 season for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, the NCAA has decided to reverse its decision and allow Kerwin Okoro to play during his sophomore year, according to CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish.
Okoro transferred from Iowa State in the offseason and originally had his hardship waiver denied by the NCAA that would allow him to play this upcoming season. Okoro’s reason for transferring was due to the deaths of his father to a stroke and his brother to colon cancer within three months of each other. Okoro wanted to be closer to his family in New York City.
The initial decision to deny Okoro eligibility for this season was scrutinized, much like many decisions the NCAA has made when it comes to how they handle their rules and regulations. This seemingly small story has much more of an impact than you would think.
As a freshmen for Iowa, Okoro only averaged 3.6 minutes and one point per game. It’s tough to tell how much of an impact Okoro can have on a Rutgers team that just lost its star player in Eli Carter, who transferred to Florida, but returns five players with starting experience from last season.
This story isn’t about Rutgers gaining an impact player for the upcoming season. It’s a simple story on right versus wrong.
It’s about time the NCAA got something correct, even though it didn’t happen right away. Okoro experienced two devastating losses and deserves to be with a family that must be going through a difficult grieving process. To deny Okoro the privilege to play basketball because of this would just be plain wrong. It’s safe to say that we’ll all be rooting for Okoro this upcoming season. Hopefully this is a step in the right direction for the NCAA decision-making process.