By LARRY VAUGHT
He’s not counting on Florida State transfer Xavier Peters obtaining a waiver from the NCAA that will allow him to play at Kentucky this season, but UK recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow believes he has a compelling case for immediate eligibility.
Peters verbally committed to Kentucky as other former Lakota West (Ohio) High School players had previously done. However, after playing in the Under Armour High School All-America Game he flipped to Florida State after being committed to UK for just over a year.
He played in two games as a true freshman at Florida State before deciding to transfer closer to home so he could spend more time with his young son. That’s why Marrow hopes the NCAA shows compassion to Peters like it has others and lets him play rather than making him sit out the entire 2019 season as a transfer.
“He was really missing his kid and wanted to get closer to home,” Marrow said.
Marrow admits some athletes have received waivers for immediate eligibility that puzzled him.
“I still can’t see how some did get waivers, but if I was at the NCAA and a guy really wants to be a father, especially speaking as an African-American man, I would like to see him get that opportunity,” Marrow said. “Obviously we would like to have him but mainly I would like to see him get it (the waiver) being a young African-American father who wants to be around his kid.
“He ain’t seen his kid in a long time. His son’s birthday fell during the season and he said he would not see him even on birthdays until he was 4 or 5 years old if he was at Florida State and would not be able to celebrate that with him. He missed being part of that.
“This is something where you do the right thing for a young man who wants to be with his kid.”
Marrow says he sees too many cases where “young kids” want to get “away from where their roots are” to have fun rather than accept responsibility like Peters has chosen to do.
“He really was missing his kid and you have to admire that. Whether he went here, Cincinnati, Ohio State, he just wanted to get back to his son and do the right thing,” Marrow said.
Now he has to wait and see if the NCAA will do the “right” thing and let him play this year.