The NCAA transfer roulette game struck unlucky for Wisconsin this week as junior forward Micah Potter will miss one more semester of basketball this season.
The 6-foot-9 former Ohio State player transferred to Wisconsin in December 2018 and hasn’t played since. The Badger staff expected Potter to clear this last NCAA hurdle and be eligible starting at the beginning of this season. With the NCAA’s ruling, that no longer seems possible. Below is a press release from the Wisconsin Athletics Department.
“The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team learned this week that the waiver for junior Micah Potter has been denied by the NCAA appeals committee.
Potter, who has not competed in regular season games since the 2017-18 season, will sit out the first semester of the 2019-20 season and be eligible for competition beginning on Dec. 21 against Milwaukee.
“I’m disappointed in the decision from the NCAA,” Potter said. “I tried to stay at Ohio State through a coaching change, but ultimately felt it was in my best interest to find a new opportunity. In doing so, I have already sat out a full season of competition. I don’t understand why I am being punished additionally for doing what is encouraged of a student-athlete. The penalty of a third semester to what I have already sat out seems unjust.
“My understanding is the intent of the transfer rule is to help students acclimate academically at their new school and I’m proud to say that I have done that. After earning a 3.5-grade point average at Ohio State, I have earned a 3.3GPA from the spring semester and summer at Wisconsin.
“I want to thank everyone at Wisconsin for their help in this process. But at this point I’m only looking forward and I’m going to help the team prepare for our early games. I’m eager to compete with my Badger teammates as soon as possible.”
“We were really disappointed to learn Micah’s waiver was denied,” head coach Greg Gard said. “He has already sat out an entire season of competition.
“Micah has done everything asked of a student-athlete, including sticking it out for an entire season with a new coaching staff at Ohio State and he has acclimated remarkably well to our academics and our campus.
“We feel badly for Micah. It feels unfair to ask him to sit three semesters. Student-athletes have such a limited window to compete as it is, it’s a shame that he is being denied some of this opportunity and valuable time.”
The first game Potter will be eligible will be a December 21st contest against Milwaukee. That means he will miss games against Saint Mary’s, Eastern Illinois, McNeese, Marquette, Green Bay, Richmond, Auburn/New Mexico, NC State, Indiana, and Rutgers. Most of these are winnable without Potter, but his frontcourt presence would have been helpful against some of the tougher games.
Tough situation for the Badgers to begin the season. Potter seems to have done everything in his power to get back on the court at the start of the season, but the NCAA had different ideas.