NCAA denies immediate eligibility for WVU men’s hoops guard RaeQuan Battle

Oct. 23—MORGANTOWN — WVU men’s basketball player denied eligibility waiver by NCAA for second year

In a disappointing decision, the NCAA has once again denied immediate eligibility to a WVU men’s basketball player seeking a waiver. The player in question, guard RaeQuan Battle, had his waiver request for immediate eligibility denied, according to an announcement made by the school on Monday. The school has stated that it intends to appeal the decision, as it did last season with guard Jose Perez, who was also denied a waiver and had his subsequent appeal denied as well. Unfortunately for Perez, he was forced to sit out last season and was later removed from the roster for violating team rules before this season began.

This appeal will be reviewed by the NCAA Committee for Legislative Relief, and their decision will be final. If Battle is once again denied, he will have to sit out this season but will be eligible to play next season. Based on last season’s timeline with Perez, a final decision on Battle’s eligibility may be expected in approximately three weeks.

The primary issue concerning Battle’s eligibility is that he has already played for two other schools and used his one-time free transfer to move from Washington to Montana State in 2021. The NCAA and Division I Council have since implemented new guidelines for athletes seeking a second transfer before earning a college degree.

Past interviews with WVU interim head coach Josh Eilert suggest that the school was focusing on the mental-health angle in their efforts to secure Battle’s waiver. Eilert expressed concern for Battle’s well-being and emphasized the role basketball plays in his life, saying, “Basketball is something he needs on a day-to-day basis. He needs that structure and that accountability each and every day to keep his head on straight.”

Battle had an impressive college season in 2022-23, averaging 17.7 points per game. He was signed by former WVU head coach Bob Huggins out of the transfer portal last April. Despite the denial of his waiver, Battle will still be allowed to practice and work out with his teammates during the appeal process.

Eilert, who had previously expressed confidence in the NCAA’s approval of Battle’s waiver, expressed disappointment in the recent decision. “There’s a lot of dynamics and a lot of variables to this whole story, and I think the NCAA is going to do right by him at the end of the day, and he’s going to be playing for us. That’s my gut feeling,” Eilert said.

If Battle’s appeal is ultimately denied, the Mountaineers will have only 10 scholarship players available for the season.


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