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COLUMN: The mistaken name was made on RaeQuan Battle’s eligibility, however right here’s a guess as to why the NCAA made it

MORGANTOWN — By now you’ve already fashioned an opinion in regards to the interior workings of the NCAA, and that opinion was doubtless made lengthy earlier than the information broke Tuesday that WVU males’s basketball ahead RaeQuan Battle was denied eligibility this season for a second time.

We aren’t right here at the moment to attempt to change your opinion, and we’re actually not going to defend the choice to disclaim Battle a possibility to play basketball this season. He shall be eligible to play subsequent season.

With the quantity of tragedy and adversity the younger man has been by means of in his life, the very least the NCAA might have finished was rubber stamp the approval and transfer on.

To make certain, that may be the identical opinion if Battle was enrolled at Duke or Kansas quite than West Virginia.

That didn’t occur, and what we’re right here to do at the moment is attempt to clarify why.

For probably the most half, I, like lots of you, imagine the NCAA is incompetent and cowardly and clings to too many outdated concepts it makes use of to run the group.

The NCAA is just not, nonetheless, made up of a bunch of heartless tyrants trying to solely assist those that assist it, whereas holding everybody else down.

Relaxation assured that everybody who noticed Battle’s case file, both within the NCAA or the appeals committee that denied him a second time Tuesday was effectively conscious of the heartache Battle has endured over his life.

“The intent of the switch waiver course of is to offer reduction for extenuating and extraordinary circumstances which are exterior the management of the student-athlete,” was a part of WVU’s response from the information. “There isn’t a query that RaeQuan’s case clearly requires a waiver in order that he can proceed his educational and athletic profession on a optimistic tract.”

Earlier than we go any additional, the NCAA by no means makes public its reasoning, effectively, for a lot of something, and WVU’s assertion of response didn’t embrace any data as to why Battle’s case was denied.

All we’ve got is an informed guess, and the thought from right here is the NCAA and the appeals committee noticed Battle’s scenario as one thing greater than only a tragic backstory.

WVU’s angle for a waiver centered across the psychological well being and psychological well-being angle the NCAA set out as a suggestion final March as one of many exceptions it will make in permitting athletes to retain their eligibility after a second switch earlier than incomes a school diploma.

In denying Battle’s eligibility, the NCAA will need to have believed his switch to WVU was about bettering his athletic standing and never about sustaining good psychological well being.

The NCAA might have made the argument if Battle’s psychological well-being was in query, then he most likely shouldn’t have transferred from the College of Washington to start with.

Washington’s campus is only a 40-minute drive from his Tulalip tribe, his residence, his household and, by far, the place his largest assist group is discovered.

But, in two seasons with the Huskies, Battle didn’t play all that a lot. His stats most likely weren’t what he hoped for, and the Huskies have been an terrible program, going a mixed 20-38 throughout his time there.

So, he used his free switch to go to Montana State, roughly 700 miles away from residence.

At Montana State, he thrived final season, averaging 17.7 factors a recreation. He led the Bobcats to the NCAA event and scored 27 factors in a first-round loss in opposition to Kansas State.

Immediately, Battle grew to become a recognized commodity once more and certain had many suitors on the market apart from WVU when he determined to enter the switch portal a second time after Montana State coach Danny Sprinkle resigned to turn out to be the pinnacle coach at Utah State.

Going off that curiosity in Battle, the NCAA might see an angle that his second switch was to easily play big-boy basketball one final season.

If this was, certainly, the NCAA’s opinion of Battle’s case, on the very least it may be argued it holds water.

The NCAA, particularly within the NIL period, goes to rightfully crack down on athletes transferring from one faculty to the following as a form of free agent searching for the following NIL payday.

Once more, the place it considerations Battle’s scenario, the NCAA and the appeals committee made the mistaken name. But, by taking a impartial step again, we will a minimum of perceive why the NCAA made the powerful choice it did.