The college basketball season is already underway as we speak, and the Oregon Ducks basketball team has been looking forward to having two new transfers added to the roster.
Sadly, those transfers are still on hold and head coach Dana Altman has expressed he is certainly frustrated with this process.
The Ducks lost to Missouri 83-75 in their season opener Wednesday night in Omaha, Nebraska, and are actually down to just eight healthy scholarship players on the team.
With being down so many players, you can understand why Altman is upset that guard transfers LJ Figueroa and Aaron Estrada are still waiting for the NCAA to grant them immediate eligibility to join the team.
Both players would be a huge help for the Ducks team. Figueroa led St. John’s in scoring with 14.6 points and had 4.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.9 steals last season while Estrada averaged 8.1 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists at Saint Peter’s.
The NCAA basketball oversight committee is already on the case and is currently on the verge of recommending that all transfers be granted waivers to play this season and be presented to the Division I Council by Dec. 16, it could potentially be voted on even sooner, according to Stadium’s Jeff Goodman.
Altman was reported of this news after Wednesday’s game. The coach expressed how happy he was of the change but also frustration with the overall process and how difficult it is for these students during this pandemic.
"LJ is heartbroken. He wanted to play so bad tonight," said Altman. "Aarons's situation is a little different. He transferred for the purpose of sitting out. That was the reason. LJ had a lot of reasons, his parents had the virus, he was in New York City and wanted to get out, they had a coaching change the year before. There were a lot of reasons for LJ's, so I don't understand that one. But that's above me, it's complicated I guess. It's not for me to make a judgment on.
"The NCAA, okay, they make it so everyone gets the year back anyway. They've made all these exceptions. We all know where this is going. One time transfer next year is going. Why are we punishing anybody? The scoreboard is about 200 to 7 or 8. There are not many people [denied]. St Johns' agreed to LJ's transfer. So I don't know why. St. Johns has been great. I want to make that clear. St John's is not holding back LJ."
The pandemic itself has taken a toll on a lot of Americans during this time. Jobs have been lost, the loss of family members, health complications, etc.
It has been a difficult year for all, for sure.
For Student-Athletes in particular, they don’t have the freedom of college as they once had before. You can only the stress these players go through during this time.
Coach Altman understands that first hand.
All the players can do is wait and see when they will be eligible to play this season. Until they, all anyone can do at this moment is wait and see.