College Basketball Insider

NCAA (finally) gets it right -- grants Kerwin Okoro immediate eligibility

Kerwin Okoro will be eligible to play at Rutgers this season thanks to the NCAA reversing its original decision on his hardship waiver, school officials announced Friday.

Okoro's case with the NCAA gained national recognition because of the circumstances that preceded his decision to transfer from Iowa State to Rutgers -- specifically that his father and brother both died in a span of three months, the first from a stroke, the second from colon cancer. Okoro subsequently had a desire to transfer closer to his New York City home so that he could be near his grieving family. But the NCAA initially denied his waiver for immediate eligibility even though it routinely grants them for players who transfer close to home to be near an ailing family member.

I wrote this column about it last month -- after Okoro's initial waiver was denied -- suggesting that the NCAA needs a Director of Common Sense and Decency to handle cases like Okoro's. On Friday, common sense prevailed. And now Okoro will be in uniform for Rutgers this season.

Gary Parrish is a senior college basketball columnist for and college basketball insider for the CBS Sports Network. The Mississippi native also hosts an award-winning radio show in Memphis. He lives in that area with his wife, two sons and two dogs.
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