Blog Entry

"Closer to home" needs to be close to home

Posted on: June 25, 2009 5:11 pm
Edited on: June 25, 2009 5:38 pm
 

Duke transfer Elliot Williams plans to move "closer to home" and ask the NCAA for a waiver to play next season because his mother is battling cancer. He will reportedly choose between Memphis, Tennessee, Kentucky and Vanderbilt. But the problem with those two statements is that they don't seem to jibe, because there's no chance the Memphis native would get a waiver to play at Tennessee or Kentucky, and even Vanderbilt is a stretch.

At least that's what one Division I coach told CBSSports.com.

According to a Division I coach who has dealt with transfers, the NCAA has "tightened up" the criteria for waivers since allowing Tyler Smith to transfer from Iowa to Tennessee without penalty when Smith's father was battling cancer. Smith wanted to "be closer to home" because of his father's illness, so he picked Tennessee, which is 248 miles from his home in Pulaski, Tenn. The NCAA granted the waiver. But the source said the guidelines are now stricter (even if they aren't clearly defined).

"I know a player who transferred to a school 106 miles from his home, and the NCAA denied the waiver," the source said. "They wanted to know that the player was going to have 'day-to-day responsibilities' with the family member before granting the waiver, and they said that you can't have 'day-to-day responsibilities' if you're 106 miles away."

Assuming that ruling is consistent with the NCAA's current way of thinking, it appears unlikely that Williams could get a waiver to play at any of the schools he's considering except for Memphis. Consider:
  • Vanderbilt is 212 miles from Memphis.
  • Tennessee is 391 miles from Memphis.
  • Kentucky is 423 miles from Memphis.
In conclusion, best I can tell, unless Elliot Williams wants to sit out a year, he must transfer to Memphis.

And that's why it seems to be a near certainty that he'll play for the Tigers next season.
Comments

Since: Sep 11, 2007
Posted on: June 27, 2009 12:14 pm
 

"Closer to home" needs to be close to home

Plus, Vandy's men's hoops team isn't currently being investigated by the NCAA.

Wow, was that a shot at Memphis????  I don't think that UM is currently under investigation I think that they are waiting for disposition from the NCAA which from what was read won't involve any issues for the team going forward.

I believe that the article was about a young man with an ill mother that needs to be closer to home.  I wish EW and the family well.

The D1 coach who has been most vocal about the transfer rule is a Big East Coach with the initials JB.  He feels that if you need to transfer for an ill relative then you need to take a year or so off and deal with it instead of playing ball.  To his points on Tyler Smith being so far from his ailing father he also said that with the schedule a D-1 player keeps they have no time to be with the parent.......

Crazy rule but another item the NCAA needs to clean up.



Since: Mar 5, 2008
Posted on: June 27, 2009 11:20 am
 

UNLESS MRS WILLIAMS SEEKS TREATMENT AT VU

Tyler Smith was given the waiver, and the distance between Pulaski, TN and Knoxville is more than the distance between Memphis and Nashville.
Should Williams decide to transfer to Vanderbilt, the precedent exists to allow him a waiver.  
Further, if the NCAA had only allowed Tyler Smith to choose the nearest (major) D-I school to Pulaski, he would have to have chosen Vandy (73.7 miles) or MTSU (78.8 miles), not Knoxville (234 or 247 miles -- the longer distance is actually faster -- more interstate travel).
Of course, Williams mother could seek treatment at Vanderbilt, making the distance issue a moot point.
There was a lot of mutual interest between Vandy and Williams during his recruitment prior to Duke getting involved.  Vandy is by far the closest to Duke in terms of academics, which was an important factor to Mr. Williams during his recruitment.  Plus, Vandy's men's hoops team isn't currently being investigated by the NCAA.



Since: Oct 16, 2007
Posted on: June 27, 2009 2:51 am
 

"Closer to home" needs to be close to home

Now if he wants to sit out a year and concencentrate on his family, then he should be able to go wherever he wants.  But special circumstance waivers should be reserved for special circumstances.

the potential problem with this is the fact that noone knows how sick his mother is.....nobody knows if its life threatening and if it is life threatening then how long does she have???? she may live another yr or 2......she may not pass away at all.....we just dont know....my point is this and I'm sure Elliot has thought about this if this is the sitiuation....he may  sit out a year, and when that year is up....his mother still needs him home......now he is going to go play far away ??? naw..... thats just one possible sitiuation that would have to be thought about......



Since: Mar 6, 2008
Posted on: June 26, 2009 9:30 pm
 

"Closer to home" needs to be close to home

I have to mostly agree with the NCAA's position on this matter. Though being a couple hours drive from his family should pass the test. Anything beyond a couple of hours significantly impacts the amount of time the athlete could share with his/her ill family.




Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: June 26, 2009 6:44 pm
 

Memphis

I'll tell you what, Memphis is impressing me....they just snagged Wil Barton right out from under our nose, and now they are about to secure a McDonald's AA from Duke. This new coach at Memphis must have game.....and if I were a Memphis fan, I'd feel pretty good about the way he's holding his own right now. Memphis lost a lot when Cousins, Wall, and Dobson followed Cal to UK, but they aren't wasting anytime at all filling those holes and moving forward. If they can secure a guy like Barton, a guy Calipari really wanted, they can recruit with anyone......

Weep not Tiger fans.......you appear to be in pretty good hands........



Since: Mar 10, 2009
Posted on: June 26, 2009 4:17 pm
 

"Closer to home" needs to be close to home

It only seems reasonable and fair that if he wants to be closer to his family and play next season then Memphis or Ole Miss are the only logical choices.  As much as he'd be welcome at UK, I'd hate for a waiver to be granted under these circumstances.  If you're leaving one school for another to be closer to home and get a waiver, you should play close to home. Now if he wants to sit out a year and concencentrate on his family, then he should be able to go wherever he wants.  But special circumstance waivers should be reserved for special circumstances.

From everything i've heard/read about Williams, he's a really good kid. I'm sure he'll make the right choice. Best wishes for him and his family.



Since: Nov 3, 2007
Posted on: June 26, 2009 11:36 am
 

"Closer to home" needs to be close to home

No, that is just how you chose to twist his statement.  If you read the whole thing, he wished Elliot's mother well.  We are all human here.



Since: Jan 15, 2007
Posted on: June 26, 2009 8:54 am
 

"Closer to home" needs to be close to home

I think the story points out that the loophole is already there (and has been for some time) and that they are trying to narrow it, not "open it up."

Anyway, Elliott, by all accounts, is a first-rate guy. Coach K found what a difference he could make on the court, and his grades tell what he does off the court. He is the consummate "student-athlete," and I would love to see him back at home playing for the Tigers next season.



Since: Apr 2, 2008
Posted on: June 26, 2009 12:15 am
 

"Closer to home" needs to be close to home

I am sorry his mom is sick but the NCAA should make EW sit out 1 year regardless of which school he transfers to. This will open up a lopphole for any player who wants to leave their team for another school.



Since: Jul 22, 2008
Posted on: June 26, 2009 12:06 am
 

"Closer to home" needs to be close to home

 

Dude you Memphis fans are sick... You are thanking God for doing this to his mother so your "basketball" team can reap the benefits?  That is pathetic, very pathetic...  Best of wishes to Elliot and his family

Dude, you're an idiot. He was not celebrating the kid's mom being sick.... 


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