Eli Carter, a guard who transferred from Rutgers to Florida following Mike Rice’s dismissal for verbal and physical abuse of his players, will file for a waiver from the NCAA to play immediately. As Florida head coach Billy Donovan notes, Rutgers has a significant role to play in such a waiver:
“That’s really more right now in Rutgers’ hands,” Donovan said. “He’s got to obviously apply for that. He’s got to go through writing a letter and then the letter’s got to be submitted to Rutgers. Rutgers has got to also submit a letter. But really the people that help in all that is Rutgers, however they want to handle the situation.
This was reported as Carter filing the appeal with Rutgers. Technically that is not the case. Carter needs to deal with the NCAA, not Rutgers directly, to get his waiver.
In cases where one institution is filing a waiver on behalf of a student-athlete and the waiver is based on the misconduct or misinformation of another institution, the second institution gets a chance to respond. The waiver is filed, then the allegations are sent to the other institution and they have a set time to respond. This was likely the process used last year when Arsalan Kazemi got his waiver to play immediately at Oregon.
Kazemi’s case was very contentious, so the NCAA working as the intermediary to get both sides of the story was likely the only option. But Rutgers may be more supportive of the athletes who left following Rice’s dismissal. If that is the case, Florida may seek letters of support for the waiver before it is filed. That would both speed up the process once it is filed, and may help sway the NCAA staff or committee.
Even if Rutgers decides not to support the waiver up front, they could choose to simply not oppose it or not respond at all. Either way, I would be much more surprised than Donovan if Carter is not playing for Florida this year.