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Wisconsin basketball: Micah Potter denied waiver by NCAA

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The transfer from Ohio State will have to sit out another semester.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Ohio State vs Gonzaga Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The University of Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team received some unpleasant, yet not unexpected, news on Thursday. Junior forward Micah Potter, who transferred from Ohio State last year, will miss the first semester of games as the NCAA denied his waiver request to play immediately.

Potter won’t be eligible to play until Dec. 21st against Milwaukee. This means he’ll miss games against: Saint Mary’s, Eastern Illinois, McNeese, Marquette, Green Bay, Richmond, Auburn/New Mexico, NC State, Indiana and Rutgers. That is a LOT of games where having Potter around would have been useful.

The Badgers will be pretty thin in the front court until his return, as well. Behind Nate Reuvers one of the untested group of Owen Hamilton, Joe Hedstrom or Tyler Wahl will have punch above their weight or else Wisconsin will get bullied down low. The guards will also have to chip in with rebounding help and being tough on switches.

Here is the press release from the university that features quotes from Potter and head coach Greg Gard:

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 3.3 GPA from the spring semester and summer at Wisconsin.

“I want 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.”