MORGANTOWN — Even after a 14-day non permanent restraining order (TRO) positioned by a federal choose in opposition to the NCAA in implementing its switch guidelines, there is no such thing as a clear-cut proof that WVU will play senior guard RaeQuan Battle on Saturday in opposition to UMass.
After taking successful in a Wheeling federal courtroom on Wednesday, the NCAA fired again on Thursday, offering some readability to its member faculties on how it could deal with eligibility points after the restraining order ends.
Within the steerage despatched to varsities, the NCAA states it should depend any video games performed by beforehand ineligible athletes throughout the 14-day window offered by the TRO as a part of their “season of completion.”
That means athletes who select to play throughout the TRO might be utilizing a season of eligibility, although it could solely imply they play in just a few video games.
Which units up the gamble dealing with Battle, in addition to teammate Noah Farrakhan, who’re each sitting out this season due to NCAA two-time switch guidelines.
“It’s primarily the eligibility,” WVU head coach Josh Eilert mentioned throughout a Zoom name Thursday. “In 14 days, we play three video games. If the choice is overturned and (Battle and Farrakhan) play throughout this course of the season they usually lose that 12 months of eligibility, that doesn’t seem to be we made the suitable determination by the student-athlete.”
A WVU spokesperson mentioned the college was not planning an instantaneous assertion towards the NCAA’s steerage or asserting Battle’s and Farrakhan’s standing on Thursday.
The TRO ends on Dec. 27, when a full listening to might be heard in Wheeling on an injunction, which can solely add to this story.
It’s potential the restraining order will get prolonged — probably to the tip of the 2023-24 faculty 12 months — which might primarily make the NCAA powerless from preserving faculties from enjoying athletes who’re at present sitting out this season.
Or the courtroom may rule in favor of the NCAA, and any ineligible athlete who performs throughout these 14 days may lose a complete season of eligibility.
In Battle’s state of affairs, he has only one season of eligibility remaining, which means he may probably lose all of it by enjoying throughout the TRO.
In the end, the choice to play or to proceed to take a seat out might come all the way down to Battle and his household.
“These conversations should be had with these student-athletes and their households and our division to determine what’s finest for them and for us, as a complete,” Eilert mentioned.
Battle may select to play throughout the TRO, which accounts for 3 video games, after which hope for a good ruling on Dec. 27 that will enable him to proceed enjoying.
Or the choice might be made to proceed to take a seat out and see what occurs on Dec. 27.
“I would like all of the information laid out for everyone concerned earlier than making these choices,” Eilert continued. “I feel that’s the suitable solution to method these issues.”
The NCAA additionally mentioned in its steerage it could not penalize any faculty for enjoying a beforehand ineligible athlete throughout the TRO, offering the athlete is academically eligible to take part.
“The studies are the establishments are protected throughout the 14-day window, however the greater query, to me, are the eligibility issues and whether or not that will burn a 12 months by enjoying in that 14-day window,” Eilert mentioned.
Battle and Farrakhan needed to sit out this season, as a result of they’ve but to earn a university diploma and had already used their one free switch.
The NCAA can present a waiver to that rule, primarily based on sure exceptions.
WVU utilized for a waiver for Battle primarily based on the exception for psychological well being points, however was denied on Oct.23. The college then appealed that call and was denied once more on Nov. 21.
Battle’s case has now moved to a “reconsideration stage,” by which WVU is offering new info for the NCAA to contemplate for a waiver.
Battle has additionally filed a separate lawsuit in opposition to the NCAA by which he alleges the group has restricted his Identify, Picture and Likeness earnings by forcing him to take a seat out this season.