Aziz Bandaogo ruled immediately eligible by NCAA
It has been a bumpy road for Wes Miller and two time transfers Aziz Bandaogo and Jamille Reynolds.
During Big 12 Basketball Media Tip Off a month ago in Kansas City, Wes Miller made it public that the waiver requests for 7'0 Utah Valley transfer Aziz Bandaogo and 6'11 Temple transfer Jamille Reynolds as second time transfers had been denied:
Miller doubled down on his comments and made it clear that both transfers had met all guidelines set forth by the NCAA and there was confusion and a lack of understanding as to why his players were not eligible.
On November 10th, after defeating Detroit Mercy 93-61, Miller spent the final 9 minutes of his press conference giving more details on the situation and stated that the NCAA said Aziz Bandaogo checked all seven boxes of the waiver requirements but were unsure "Why Cincinnati".
"I'm not ok with the NCAA making an example of my guys and sacrificing my guys to set an example for future transfers."
Full quote below:
Miller has continued to pound the table for his players. After yesterday's 90-66 win over NKU, the Cincinnati head coach recited the NCAA mission statement and noted that a waiver request for Jamille Reynolds was submitted in August. That waiver was denied. An appeal was submitted in October with little to no communication from the NCAA on when a ruling would be given. When Cincinnati's compliance department contacted the NCAA, they were told they may not be able to get to the appeal until December.
Wes Miller mentioned Jamille Reynolds still has not received word on his appeal and the NCAA informed UC compliance they may not get to it until December.— Ryan Roberts (@Ryan_Ky0203) November 19, 2023
Full quote: pic.twitter.com/T7fSHJ5kSr
Bandaogo acquired legal representation to assist with the waiver and appeal process.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost was publicly involved with the case.
Yost stated on November 10th that "a bipartisan coalition of Attorney General are interested in Ohio's potential anti-trust complaint against the NCAA. Expect some movement as early as next week."
Late this afternoon, Jonathon Givony of Draft Express broke the news that Cincinnati's Aziz Bandaogo had been ruled immediately eligible.
NEWS: Cincinnati center and two-time transfer Aziz Bandaogo will be eligible to play immediately after new information emerged that caused the NCAA to reconsider his waiver and appeal, he told ESPN.— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) November 20, 2023
This is obviously massive news for the Bearcats while they continue to wait on a ruling on Jamille Reynolds.
Bandaogo brings much needed depth, length, and athleticism to a thin front court that had only Vik Lakhin and Ody Oguama available yesterday while Sage Tolentino deals with an injury.
The WAC Defensive Player of the Year who helped Utah Valley to a program-record 28 wins and NIT Final Four appearance averaged 11.4 points and 10.5 rebounds per game while scoring in double-figures 27 times last season and should make an immediate impact at both ends of the floor.
Bandaogo posted 15 points and 12 boards against the Bearcats in the NIT Quarterfinals and was third nationally in blocks (106), fourth in rebounding and ninth in double-doubles (17).
Statement from University of Cincinnati Men's Basketball Coach Wes Miller
"I'm thrilled for Aziz Bandaogo and can't wait to have him play for us here at the University of Cincinnati this season. This process has been incredibly tough on Aziz and our whole team and I'm glad he can now focus on being the best student-athlete he can be for the Bearcats.
We appreciate the NCAA for reconsidering his case, and ultimately coming to this decision.
I want to thank John Cunningham, President Pinto and the many people at the University of Cincinnati who supported Aziz during this process.
Unfortunately, we still have another young man who is waiting to hear back from the NCAA on his waiver for immediate eligibility. Our hope is the NCAA will do the right thing in Jamille Reynolds' case, as well. "
Statement from Aziz Bandaogo
"The day I have long dreamt of has finally come. I am grateful that the NCAA has reconsidered my case and granted my immediate eligibility.
I am most thankful for my teammates, our coaching staff, administration and fans for continuously supporting me.
Ohio is my American home away from home. I cannot wait to make my Cincinnati debut and give this program everything I have. Go Bearcats! "
(Quotes from gobearcats release)
The Bearcats next home game is Wednesday night as they take on the 2-1 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in a 7:00 tip off inside Fifth Third Arena.