BENNETT'S MINUTES: Recent trend could aid Neese
NCAA easing transfer rules
As things stand now, former Cloverdale basketball standout Cooper Neese will make his debut as an Indiana State Sycamore on Dec. 22 against Colorado in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic.
The schedule for the tourney was released this week, with UNLV, Rhode Island, Bucknell, Charlotte and Texas Christian joining the Sycamores and host Hawaii in the eight-team field.
All of the games will be broadcast on the ESPN family of channels.
Colorado has appeared in either the NCAA tournament or the Postseason NIT in six of the past eight years. Bucknell, Rhode Island and TCU were all NCAA tourney teams in March.
Neese, of course, signed with Butler after graduating from Cloverdale but transferred to ISU early in the second semester last fall.
The original thinking was that Neese would lose one semester of eligibility for having attended Butler and would be eligible at the completion of the upcoming fall semester at ISU.
Earlier this summer, Indiana State filed a request with the NCAA to have Neese declared eligible for the entire upcoming season.
No ruling has yet been made on the request, but a decision this week in another sport could be perceived as helping Neeseís cause.
Ohio State football player Jack Wohlabaugh spent two seasons in Columbus without playing in a game for the Buckeyes, and transferred to Duke in January with three seasons of eligibility remaining.
Transfers typically must sit out a year at their new school per NCAA rules, but Duke told the Associated Press on Wednesday that the NCAA has approved a waiver request that grants immediate eligibility to the redshirt sophomore.
The two situations are not exactly duplicates of each other, but the Wohlabaugh ruling is another in a series of steps by the NCAA this year to ease transfer rules for student-athletes.
Starting in October, among the new rules for student transfers includes a provision allowing athletes to compete in up to four games without losing a season of competition. The previous standard was 10 percent of a teamís regularly-scheduled contests.
Also, students wanting to transfer now do not have to ask their current school for permission to contact potential new schools.
The new process allows the student-athlete to notify his current school of his/her desire to transfer, and that school will be required to enter the studentís name into a database within two business days of the request.
Whether any of these changes will directly affect Neeseís case is unknown, but the pendulum is definitely swinging more in the favor of student-athletes, as it should.