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Thompson Misses Out on Ohio State’s Foreign Tour

Bob Baptist of the Columbus Dispatch, clarifying a tweet from Ohio State men’s basketball transfer Trevor Thompson that he would not be eligible to play this season:

But coach Thad Matta and an athletic department spokesman said today that, as far as they know, Thompson has been denied only the opportunity to accompany the team on its five-day trip to the Bahamas this week.

“I think what he meant to say is appeal was denied for him to go on trip,” Matta said in a text message to The Dispatch. “Don’t think we have been told (the NCAA’s) decision for next year, but will check tomorrow.”

Dan Wallenberg, associate athletic director for communications, added in a text that Thompson is “not traveling to Bahamas (but) I don’t know where we are with (the appeal) process. May have more tomorrow.”

In most sports, any incoming athlete, freshman or transfer, may not go on foreign tour. Basketball has an exception but the player must be eligible for competition for the upcoming academic year. So Thompson would need his waiver granted to go on this week’s foreign tour.

There seems to be three likely possibilities as to what is going on:

  1. Ohio State has not yet submitted Thompson waiver at all.
  2. A separate waiver to allow Thompson to go on the tour while his waiver is pending was denied.
  3. Thompson’s waiver was initially denied by the NCAA staff and Ohio State is now preparing the appeal to the Subcommittee for Legislative Relief.

The third option seems most likely given that Thompson was apparently told something he took as “you are not eligible next season”. That would make sense if he were told his waiver was denied. Which it should be. Both the distance and the timing of Thompson’s transfer and his father’s surgery are problematic given the NCAA’s guidelines for transfer waivers. Thompson’s waiver was always going to be a long shot but if it is granted, it would on appeal to the SLR committee after first being denied by the NCAA staff.

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