By LARRY VAUGHT
If you were one of those who thought the NCAA would never grant a waiver to Olivier Sarr to play at Kentucky next season, you probably feel like today that it definitely will not happen after the NBA set in motion a plan to give players until Aug 17 to enter the draft.
Remember the 7-foot Sarr cited a major reason for leaving Wake Forest was that coach Danny Manning was fired to close to the previous NBA early entry draft deadline of April 26 for him to put his name into the draft. Now this extension to apply takes away that claim if the NBA Players Association agrees to the new deadline as they are expected to do.
Of course, the NCAA set a deadline of Aug. 3 for players to decide on the draft.
The key here is when the NCAA rules on his waiver. If he’s not granted a waiver, he obviously will put his name into the draft. If he gets a waiver, my guess is he will be more than content to play at Kentucky.
When will the NCAA make its ruling? Who knows? It took less than two weeks to give UK transfer Johnny Juzang a waiver to play at UCLA next season. No way will Sarr get his ruling that quick.
Sarr averaged 13.7 points and 9.0 rebounds per game as a junior at Wake Forest. With him, Kentucky could be No. 1 going into next season. Without him, Kentucky has no real center.
I have doubted all along if the NCAA would show any consideration for Sarr’s plight since he picked Kentucky and this only reinforces that feeling for me. Hopefully, I’m wrong but the NCAA’s history with UK just doesn’t make me very optimistic about UK having Sarr next year.