According to Adam Zagoria, the SEC has a transfer rule that any undergraduate who transfers into the conference must have two years of remaining eligibility if they aren’t a grad transfer. Sarr obviously doesn’t have that, so Kentucky must get a waiver from the SEC for him to play in addition to the waiver they need from the NCAA.
Here’s the full SEC 2-year transfer rule re: Kentucky’s Olivier Sarr.
Per an SEC spokesman, an exception to this rule would require a waiver from the Conference pic.twitter.com/ngA59yNZgg
— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) September 21, 2020
So, now Kentucky has to hope it gets a waiver from the NCAA, then get another one from the SEC before Sarr can play this upcoming season.
If you’ve been following the Joey Gatewood waiver process, he too needs a waiver from the NCAA and the SEC, the latter of which appears to be what’s kept him from being ruled eligible yet. But that’s because Gatewood transferred within the conference by leaving Auburn to join Kentucky.
With Sarr, he’s leaving an ACC school in Wake Forest to join an SEC school in Kentucky. I can’t recall there being another instance in a conference where a player wasn’t allowed to play at his new school because he didn’t have two full seasons of eligibility left.
You’d think that as long as the NCAA grants a waiver, the SEC will eventually do the same. But this is clearly one more hoop Kentucky must get through before they’ll have their potential all-conference center good to go for the 2020-21 college hoops season.
One other thing to note: The NCAA recently ruled that any athlete who takes place in fall sports won’t lose a season of eligibility. If a similar ruling were made for winter sports, then Sarr would technically have two seasons of eligibility left, thus negating the need for a waiver from the SEC.
My guess is Kentucky will eventually get a waiver from the SEC if the NCAA says Sarr can play, but this complication could be what’s making this process take much longer than it should. The NCAA waiver was filed in May, so it’s now been four months with no ruling.
We could be waiting well into October before Kentucky learns if Sarr can play this season.