As the transfers from Rutgers continue to gain immediately eligibility (Derrick Randall was granted his tonight), Kerwin Okoro sits with a denied waiver. Rutgers has, as we said, appealed the ruling, and social media has turned against the NCAA.
Gary Parrish, Dick Vitale, Jeff Goodman, Jay Bilas, Andy Katz and many other national media figures have tweeted their support. It even made the Yahoo! front page.
But now its your turn, Rutgers fans. Social Media is a powerful tool. Try to get the #FreeOkoro hashtag trending if you're on Twitter. Its the least we can attempt.
Here's what Katz had to say.
The NCAA has lacked consistency on granting waivers, whether for an ill relative, in the wake of a coaching firing, following an NCAA violation or any other issue. But the national office cannot, rationally, be inconsistent on waivers when it deals with the same case. If a former Rutgers player is eligible immediately at a new school (Mike Poole at Iona and Vincent Garrett at Green Bay) because he fled the reign of former coach Mike Rice, then a new player (Kerwin Okoro or J.J. Moore) should be granted the same treatment and be allowed to play at Rutgers immediately. Okoro's case, involving the loss of his brother and father, has been well documented -- he clearly has a sympathetic reason to be granted a waiver. But there is a fairness issue for Rutgers that should come into play if departed players are getting a better deal. Two more -- Derrick Randall at Pitt and Eli Carter at Florida -- may also get immediate eligibility. The only break the Scarlet Knights got was when Jerome Seagears was not penalized after he came back to Rutgers from Auburn two months after announcing he would transfer. New Rutgers coach Eddie Jordan said Wednesday there is another appeal coming for Okoro, with a different set of eyes and ears to evaluate the grievances. He said he's hopeful there will be a sensible conclusion.