Kentucky basketball landed one of the prominent transfers of the college basketball offseason, bringing in Olivier Sarr from Wake Forest. Months later, his waiver status is still up in the air, and ESPN’s Dick Vitale isn’t having it.
Sarr left Wake Forest after Danny Manning was fired by the Demon Deacons. People can debate the merits of the transfer situation, but most should be able to agree that waivers for players whose coaches have been fired is pretty appropriate. And yet, the NCAA always has these major delays for a number of players, every single year.
Dick Vitale this he knows why. He believes the hangup has to do with disdain for the coach that Sarr is transferring to play for: Kentucky basketball’s John Calipari. He took to Twitter to call out the NCAA today.
“Analyzing a player ala Olivier Sarr of Kentucky basketball doesn’t require GENIUS STATUS,” Vitale tweeted. “Why would it take so long? Come on his coach fired/Wake’s new coach (Steve Forbes) supports his waiver claim. I have an idea could it be due to the following name C-A-L-I-P-A-R-I? Just asking.”
I mean analyzing a player ala OLIVIER SARR of @KentuckyMBB doesn’t require GENIUS STATUS : y would would it take so long ? Come on his Coach fired / Wake ‘s new coach supports his waiver claim . I have an idea could it be due to the following name C-A-L-I-P-A-R-I ? Just asking
— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) August 5, 2020
Kentucky basketball fans are probably all about a conspiracy here, and maybe there’s some credence. The more likely explanation is that the NCAA is really bad at dealing with the things it is tasked with enforcing, whether it is penalties for programs that run afoul of their rules, or figuring out which transfers should be allowed to play right away.
Whatever the reason for the delay in the Sarr case, it is definitely frustrating, especially with proposal that would give players a blanket one-time transfer without sitting out getting kicked down the road earlier this year.
Olivier Sarr is expected to be a major contributor for Kentucky, after averaging 13.7 points and 9.0 rebounds per game for Wake Forest last year. After his decision, Dick Vitale tweeted that UK “struck gold” with the move. The NCAA’s decision, whenever it come, will have a huge impact on Kentucky in 2020-21.