LSU transfer Anthony Hickey will be eligible to play immediately at Oklahoma State after the NCAA approved his waiver Monday.
Hickey used the NCAA’s run-off exemption after LSU did not renew his scholarship for the 2014–15 season.
Good for Hickey and kudos to LSU head men’s basketball coach Johnny Jones for helping Hickey with the waiver. The run-off waiver requires that the player be denied an opportunity to participate, not that the scholarship be cancelled or nonrenewed. In a revenue sport where the waiver is likely to be publicized, that means officially acknowledging that the player was cut. Coaches can still prevent a player from getting the waiver by taking away the scholarship but offering the player an opportunity to walk on.
That public acknowledgement was always the rub of whether the waiver would be applied in football or men’s basketball. It could have some sort of recruiting effect, although whether positive or negative is not clear at this point. Sadly though, like all transfer waivers in the revenue sports, immediate eligibility in these cases will be going away after this summer. Had he transferred a year later, Hickey would have gotten a clock extension but would still have had to sit out this year.