Wisconsin revealed Wednesday that a eligibility waiver filed on behalf of freshman Andy Van Vliet was denied by the NCAA, rendering the 6'11" Belgian unable to compete with the men's basketball team for the time being.
Van Vliet will not suit up for tonight's exhibition against UW-River Falls as a result of the ruling, which Wisconsin will appeal.
At issue is the length of time between Van Vliet's high school graduation and his enrollment at UW. He played basketball for a club team in Belgium as an amateur last season. After committing to Wisconsin in May, Van Vliet turned 20 years old in July on the day he signed his National Letter of Intent.
The reason for the initial waiver request was left vague, "citing factors outside of Van Vliet's control" according to the UW Athletics press release this afternoon, leaving open for speculation how major a hurdle the freshman forward must clear with the appeal and what potential penalties could be looming.
The announcement comes almost exactly one year after Wisconsin announced Duje Dukan would miss four "contests" unexpectedly due to the NCAA's denial of his medical hardship waiver for the 2012-13 season. Whether a problem lies within the NCAA or on the UW athletic office's side, I think everyone would prefer for resolutions to come much sooner in these processes.
Below is the full text of the university's release.
Van Vliet eligibility case pending
Badgers freshman forward will not dress for exhibition game vs. UW-River Falls
MADISON, Wis. – Freshman Andy Van Vliet will not dress for Wisconsin’s exhibition contest vs. UW-River Falls Wednesday night while a pending eligibility issue is resolved.
NCAA rules state that prospective student-athletes have one year to enroll in a collegiate institution following their high school graduation or expected graduation date. Van Vliet played basketball as an amateur outside of that one-year window, which has resulted in the eligibility issue.
Citing factors outside of Van Vliet’s control, UW Athletics filed a waiver with the NCAA. UW was informed Wednesday afternoon that the waiver was denied and UW plans to appeal as soon as possible.