Troy Taormina-US PRESSWIRE
Not sure how this falls within the rules clearly stated by the NCAA, but Arsalan Kazemi has been cleared to play at Oregon. The Rice transfer was an 8-win player for the Owls, and should make a big impact inside in the PAC-12.
Talk about a failure to enforce the rules that you just implemented.
The NCAA cleared Rice transfer Arsalan Kazemi on Thursday to play immediately at Oregon. This involved granting a hardship waiver, the kind that is supposed to now be restricted to moving closer to home to care for relatives, or because of financial hardship.
Last I checked Kazemi is from Iran. Iran is not within 100 miles of Eugene.
So explain how Kazemi's situation fits within this rules clearly laid out two weeks ago by the NCAA:
The school is within a 100-mile radius of the immediate family member's home, which demonstrates the ability for the student-athlete to provide regular, ongoing care.
I can't. I would venture to say that the Oregon folks can't. And I can't sure bet that the NCAA won't even attempt to answer. Eamonn Brennan at ESPN points to the Omar Oraby situation at USC, which falls under the same shaky pretenses, as a reason for the approval. I am not sure that makes this whole thing better. It probably makes it worse.
No matter. It is done, and soon Kazemi will be suiting up for the Ducks, and together with Oraby, setting an odd precedent that will be hard to forget the next time someone applies for one of these transfers. The NCAA said they were going to do something to crack down on cases like this. The did, and then they didn't.
That sounds about right for them.
From the basketball side of things, Kazemi is poised to make an impact immediately at Oregon. He was already killing it on the floor during practices and scrimmages. And we know he has impact potential.
Last season with the Owls, Kazemi had an 8.7 HW30 placing him as one of the top players in Conference USA. A lot of that skill -- defensive rebounding, nose for the ball -- should translate immediately, even in the PAC-12.
This is a big win for Oregon, even if it is a big loss for the NCAA.