Damarcus Harrison will play this year following his transfer from BYU to Clemson after the NCAA granted his waiver based on a mix-up involving his religious mission:
Had Harrison been able to begin his mission this fall as he originally planned, he likely would have resumed his basketball career at BYU when he returned. Instead the church decided last month he needed to delay his mission a full year, sending him scrambling to find a way to avoid putting his education and basketball scholarship on hold.
Harrison’s situation is a great counter-example to the increasing call to eliminate all waivers of the transfer residency requirement. His decision to leave BYU for his mission was his own, but then two things that appear outside of Harrison’s control worked against him: his church would not submit paperwork for the mission and BYU gave away his scholarship. If he were not eligible, those two events would require him to either delay his mission two years or take three years away from basketball.
This is also the latest in a series of waivers the NCAA has granted where a major piece of the waiver is that the student-athlete’s scholarship was not removed. Granted, Harrison had more involved, but Eric Norman, cut by Larry Brown at SMU, does not appear to have any other reason for his waiver being granted. This might be the beginning of an almost guaranteed waiver or even a legislated exception for athletes who have their scholarships cancelled or non renewed.