[Source] - Sibande is a 6-foot-4 rising senior guard from Indianapolis who spent the past three seasons playing for Miami (Ohio) of the Mid-American Conference. In June, Sibande decided to transfer to the University of Pittsburgh. Through Pitt, Sibande became one of more than 100 men's college basketball players during the current cycle who filed an NCAA waiver request for immediate eligibility. Especially in this age of the coronavirus pandemic, the majority of such waiver requests have been granted, but Sibande is one of seven players during this cycle to have his request denied.
Owens told me he loved Sibande and would do anything he could to help him, but that Sibande alleged in his waiver request that Miami had "run him off," meaning there was no place for him on the team. Owens said that contention was simply untrue and that there was a scholarship available to Sibande when he decided to transfer. Owens said he would not lie to suggest that Sibande, a former All-MAC player and the 2017-18 conference rookie of the year, had been run off.
I really wanted to give credit to the NCAA here. They seem to be allowing transfers to happen this year in college hoops. I mean why wouldn't they? It's not like we're in the middle of global pandemic, there's a good chance a year of eligibility doesn't count similar to college football (being voted on next week) and in general who cares about transfers. Hell, in most sports you don't even have to sit out a year if you decide to transfer.
But then you read the above in regards to Nike Sibande, a former All-MAC player at Miami (Ohio) who decided to transfer to Pitt. Hmm, not the far of a travel so what's going on here. You read the report that Miami ran him off. A fairly big accusation to a program although hardly the first time we've ever seen something like that. So if he lied about that, Miami refused to allow the waiver to happen. Bullshit, but fair.
Oh, but wait. That didn't happen because Miami (Ohio) is full of shit:
Here's the problem: Miami wasn't telling me the truth.
After I talked to Owens and Corbin, ESPN obtained the documentation for Sibande's waiver request, Miami's response to the waiver request and Sibande's appeal to the denial. Sibande's Aug. 13 waiver request did not state, reference, mention or imply that he had been "run off," did not have a spot on the roster or was unwelcome to return. The basis for Sibande's waiver request was the continued care of his infant daughter, Oaklynn, who has relocated to Pittsburgh along with her mother, and Sibande's concerns regarding COVID-19 on the Miami campus.
Miami submitted its one-page response to Sibande's waiver request by letter, dated Aug. 28, 2020. In that response, Miami claimed that Sibande indicated to the coaches and administration that "he sought a bigger stage on which to prepare for the NBA." Neither Owens nor Corbin mentioned the NBA to me during our conversations.
What the fuck are we doing here? There's apparently documentation out there where the request is in order to take care of his infant daughter living in ... you guessed it, Pittsburgh! Not to mention that, yeah, Miami (Ohio) has been a hot spot for coronavirus since kids returned to campus. It's about an hour outside of Cincinnati and pretty much every day the news has some update on something going on there.
Second, fuck you. You're Miami (Ohio). Wally Szczerbiak isn't coming back through that door to make you remotely relevant again. You guys fucking stink at basketball. Who cares if a kid wants to transfer to help better his career? That's what you do in ANY GODDAMN JOB. The fact we still have transfers having to sit out for a year is asinine. Spare me the whole 'it'll create free agency in college basketball.' Uh, there already is. Also why do we limit transfer sitout rule to football/basketball? We don't have it in most sports.
This is why it's such bullshit to pretend these athletes are the same as students. They aren't. If I transferred from Kentucky (LOL, like I'd leave that place), I wouldn't have had to sit out a year. That's why any time Mark Emmert says these athletes are students like me and you I laugh. It's the biggest lie since someone told you it was great and you were the best they ever had. Just let these kids transfer one time without a waiver. Who cares? This is such a shitty look by Miami (Ohio) though.
Good to know that even in a global pandemic, we can still count on the NCAA fucking up.