Florida basketball: Scottie Wilbekin remains suspended, Eli Carter's status for the season unclear and Chris Walker's eligibility still in doubt
Florida committment Chris Walker's eligibility remains in question and coach Billy Donovan said today it's possible Walker will not be enrolled when fall classes begin in August.
In his first meeting with the media since leading the USA U-19 National Basketball Team to a gold medal in Prague, Donovan discussed a variety of topics, including Walker's eligibility.
"I haven’t heard anything back yet," Donovan said. "Obviously he’s not here in Summer B. He’s still working towards finishing up. However long that’s going to take I’m not really sure because he’s still got to go through the (NCAA) Clearing House and still get cleared with what all these guys have got to go through. Right now he’s not here. We’re hopeful that it will be sooner rather than later, but he’s still got some work ahead of him and I think he’s trying really hard to get all that finished."
Although fall classes begin in about one month, Donovan said he won't rush Walker.
"He may or may not be here for the fall semester," Donovan said. "I think the one thing I feel like with Chris and just talking to him is his commitment to Florida and wanting to be here, however long that takes. He wants to make that happen. So he’s got some things that he still needs to do. And I think the one thing that we’ve tried to explain to him is the work he’s finishing up and doing it, he doesn’t need to rush it, he just needs to get it done correctly, the right way. And I think he’s working hard to try to make sure that happens."
WILBEKIN STILL OUT: Senior guard Scottie Wilbekin remains suspended indefinitely for violation of team rules. A timetable for his return also has not been set.
"My thing, I haven’t commented a whole lot just because our season’s not going on and it’s not like we’re playing games or practicing," Donovan said. "But he’s got a road to hoe here a little bit to get himself back. There are some things out there in front of him that he needs to do right now, and he’s working hard and trying to do those things. But this is not a situation where this is going to be something that’s all the sudden going to be a quick fix. It’s not one of those things where I say 'okay this guy’s suspended' and then all of a sudden he’s back. The rest of the summer he’s not part of our team. And then what we’ll do is I’ll probably sit down and meet with him once the fall semester starts and go from there. But right now, I’m probably not going to have anything more than what I said several weeks ago. Nothing’s really changed."
WILL ELI CARTER BE ELIGIBLE TO PLAY? Rutgers transfer Eli Carter is on campus and attending school, but whether he'll be granted a waiver to play for the Gators remains to be seend. Carter transferred in the wake of the scandal involving alleged abuse by former Scarlet Knights coach Mike Rice, and is seeking a waiver so he doesn't have to sit out one season per normal NCAA transfer rules.
"That’s really more right now in Rutgers’ hands,'' Donovan said. "He’s got to apply for that. He’s got to go through writing a letter and then the letter’s got to be submitted to Rutgers. Then Rutgers has got to also submit a letter. But really it’s Rutgers and however they want to handle the situation. I have not been in contact with them at all, I’ve stayed out of it. It’s something that Eli and his family needs to do. I know there have been several players from Rutgers that have been transferring and I’m assuming that a lot of those guys are looking for the opportunity, wherever they transferred to, to play right away. Whether or not that happens, it’s really between Rutgers and the NCAA. And all Eli can do is make an appeal that he would like to play right away. He’s doing all that stuff right now."