MORGANTOWN — The second WVU males’s basketball guard RaeQuan Battle took the witness stand in a federal courtroom in Wheeling on Wednesday, he turned the face of a motion 1000’s of instances bigger than his personal 6-foot-5 body.
What began as a battle in opposition to the NCAA for Battle’s eligibility this season abruptly changed into a lot extra.
“It was an enormous day, and he’s the face of this complete course of,” WVU head coach Josh Eilert mentioned. “I’m actually happy with him, I advised him that for sure. He’s completed this with a lot class and integrity.
“It took so much out of him. Having that braveness to testify and put himself on the market, it took so much out of him. I believe the nerves type of obtained to him and he didn’t really feel all that properly and spent the remainder of the night resting.”
Ever because the state of West Virginia joined in with six different states and introduced a federal antitrust lawsuit in opposition to the NCAA and its switch eligibility guidelines, this was not only a query of whether or not Battle may go well with up for the Mountaineers this season.
Sure, that’s the half that Battle — and WVU — could also be most involved with, however this case in the end is now about the way forward for 1000’s of faculty athletes and the way forward for how the NCAA governs them.
If we make it to this time subsequent 12 months, and the NCAA not even has rules regarding transfers and their eligibility, a whole sports activities world will say that’s due to RaeQuan Battle.
Now, assume for a second about the whole scope of what that will entail.
True, one aspect of the coin tells you that student-athletes achieve their freedom from what many view as an oppressing group.
The opposite aspect of that coin is a whole beginning 5 of Staff A deciding to switch to Staff B 12 months after 12 months for no higher purpose than they’ll.
We’ll take that one step additional in saying — if the NCAA loses this case — there’s an actual chance the NCAA would finally stop to exist, as a result of it may well not implement, properly, something.
In case you assume faculty athletics are the wild wild West now, simply wait till there are actually no penalties for transferring colleges or for unlawful recruiting of athletes.
That’s what’s now at stake on this federal case that Battle has turn out to be the face of, and that’s so much for a younger man of simply 22 years outdated to take care of.
“I don’t assume he needed to be (the face) by any means,” Eilert mentioned. “This isn’t the route he selected. I used to be very forthright via the entire course of saying this was going to be an open-and-shut case. I believed it might be a rubber-stamp difficulty from the NCAA from the specifics of this specific case. Not at all do I believe RaeQuan needed to push this factor this far, however he’s combating for what he believes is true.
“Does he need that spotlight? I don’t assume he does by any means. I’m very happy with him for taking it this far and doing what he thinks is true and combating for his rights in a courtroom of legislation.”
The final word query I’d love for the NCAA to reply at some point is why it made Battle the face of all of this to start with?
Why was Battle’s eligibility request underneath the psychological well-being exception the hill the NCAA selected to face on?
All of this might have been prevented again in October, when the NCAA first denied Battle’s eligibility. If the group merely rubber stamped the request, as Eilert mentioned, we wouldn’t be discussing any of this at present.
But, it was the NCAA’s choice to create this struggle, one which Battle selected to battle and one that may in the end make him immortalized due to it.