Gibbs' eligiblity means Doug McDermott to walk on at Creighton
The probable Big East preseason Player of the Year will pay tuition in his final season of college basketball. Interesting -- and unprecedented.
It has been a big day for Creighton, which heard the news that point guard Grant Gibbs would receive a rare sixth year of eligibility. As my colleague, Jeff Borzello, wrote, that means the Bluejays can fairly be considered/lobbied to be Big East favorites next season, the first year that Creighton will be a member of the reconfigured league.
Gibbs' eligibility could cause a headache for many programs, but not Creighton. Gibbs will need a scholarship. So, what to do with a roster that already had 13 players lined up for 2013-14? Somebody would have to be a walk-on; somebody would have to pay to go to school, plunk down tens of thousands of dollars just to play for the Jays next year.
Fortunately, that somebody happens to be Doug McDermott, two-time First Team All-American, two-time Missouri Valley Player of the Year, son to coach Greg McDermott and possible 2014 first-round NBA draft selection. Safe to say the family can afford the one year of tuition, which comes out to anywhere between 30 and 40 grand.
USA Today confirmed with Creighton officials that Doug McDermott would indeed submit himself to the position of walk-on for the betterment of the team. (McDermott and Gibbs have a very good relationship that often plays -- via some ribbings -- out on Twitter.)
Creighton Sports Information Director Rob Anderson confirmed to USA TODAY Sports that McDermott will be a walk-on next season to make room for Gibbs, who was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA on Tuesday. McDermott and his family will have to pay the full tuition at Creighton, which ranges between $30,000-40,000. Even though McDermott's father is an employee at the school, NCAA rules don't permit any financial aid unless that person has been employed for more than five years.
So now the question people are asking: Is Doug McDermott the greatest walk-on in college hoops history? It's rare when the best player on a team gives up his scholarship. In recent years, Jarvis Varnado did at Mississippi State; he was taken 41st in the 2010 draft. McDermott could well top that.
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