What happens with Kris Martin could determine near future of CSU basketball

Kris Martin. Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

In the fallout of the Larry Eustachy climate-assessment-turned-resignation, one player has already decided to leave the Colorado State men’s basketball team.

That player is Kris Martin, who sat out the 2017-18 season per NCAA rules after transferring to CSU from Oral Roberts. Martin played two years at Oral Roberts, averaging 13.2 points per game and shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc his sophomore year, so he currently has two years of eligibility remaining.

On March 27, Martin announced via Twitter that he’s leaving Colorado State for Oklahoma; the only problem is, Oklahoma hadn’t offered him when he made that announcement. That tweet by Martin has recently been deleted.

According to Ryan Auber of The Oklahoman, a source inside the program said the team is “vetting” whether or not he can play immediately because Oklahoma needs both a point and shooting guard, and they need them to play big minutes starting in the fall of this year.

Usually, when a player transfers from one Division I school to another, the penalty is sitting out one year. But, sometimes special waivers can be issued by the NCAA. Oklahoma would have to file a request for a special waiver of the transfer rules, as explained here on NCAA.org:

Waiver: An action that sets aside an NCAA rule because a specific, extraordinary circumstance prevents you from meeting the rule. An NCAA school may file a waiver on your behalf; you cannot file a waiver for yourself. The school does not administer the waiver, the conference office or NCAA does.”

These waivers — allowing players who transfer to compete immediately — aren’t common, but they were granted in a somewhat recent occurrence with similar circumstances to the Larry Eustachy resignation at Colorado State.

When Mike Rice was fired after his abusive behavior at Rutgers in 2013, four of those special waivers were given to former Rutgers players, allowing them to transfer and then play immediately.

Rice was caught on film during practice doing many similar things Eustachy did according to the first investigation into his “culture of fear” in 2013-14.

Per NJ.com, “Rice was seen throwing basketballs at players — including one instance, throwing it at a player’s head — as well as shoving players during a practice. He was also heard using the term “f—— fa–ot” at a player and using abusive language.”

In the NSFW letter obtained by the Fort Collins Coloradoan in 2017, Eustachy admitted to using abusive language as well as punting a basketball, punching whiteboards, throwing chairs, soda cans and more.

So, if the NCAA granted those special waivers to those four Rutgers players — allowing them to transfer and play immediately for new schools — it’s at the very least possible they will rule that way again for Martin.

If Oklahoma’s “vetting” means they’ve already filed for that special waiver — as the NCAA rules explain the school must do on the player’s behalf — we may hear sooner rather than later on if Martin will be granted to play in 2018-19 with the Sooners instead of sitting out and losing a year of eligibility.

That’s an important ruling for the near future of Colorado State Rams men’s basketball. If Martin is allowed to play immediately, the logic follows that all Rams players — who went through the same treatment and were left without a head coach when Eustachy resigned — would be able to play somewhere else immediately, too.

Nico Carvacho, a redshirt sophomore, has been granted the ability to reach out to other schools.

And he told us at new head coach Niko Medved’s introductory press conference that he has already contacted other schools about playing for them, while also saying he looked forward to talking in depth with Medved about staying at CSU. Carvacho, an incredibly important big man to CSU, has already sat out one year. So, it seems unlikely he’d go to another school and sit out a second year, leaving him one more year of availability.

But, if Martin is indeed granted the special waiver, that may mean Carvacho decides to leave. In his redshirt freshman season, Carvacho was extremely raw, picking up many quick fouls, being forced to sit often in foul trouble. But 2017-18 was his breakout season, nearly averaging a double-double for the season, with 9.2 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. He’s a rebounding machine who’s learned better body control and how to use his massive frame to work opponents down in the painted area.

And there are rumors of a few other players contemplating transferring away from CSU, too. So, keep an eye on what happens with Martin, because if he’s granted the special waiver, multiple others may follow him out of Fort Collins.

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