The chance that Eli Carter can play right away at Florida remains up in the air.
The 6-foot-3, Rutgers transfer guard is still awaiting approval from his former school before the process can move on to the NCAA.
There is thought that Carter could receive a waiver due to the player abuse scandal involving former Rutgers coach Mike Rice. Rice resigned after a videotape released to ESPN showed him throwing basketballs at players and verbally abusing them.
“Still no word,” Carter’s father, Dale Carter, said Tuesday night. “The interim AD, Carl Kirschner, he was very supportive. He has kids so he has expressed wanting to do what’s best and right for the kids involved. But there’s a new regime and it’s in their hands.”
New Rutgers athletic director Julie Hermann started on the job Monday and has plenty on her plate. If Hermann makes the recommendation for a waiver, it still must be approved by the NCAA. Here’s a story by ESPN’s Andy Katz that clarifies the waiver approval process for transfers.
Unlike the recent flip-flop by point guard Jerome Seagears, who returned to Rutgers last week after initially transferring to Auburn, Carter is committed to seeing his transfer through at Florida. Carter will arrive in Gainesville next week and enroll for the Summer B session, which starts July 1.
“He’s excited about it,” Dale Carter said. “He can’t wait to get started.”
Dale Carter said that his son has been working out in New Jersey, sometimes training with Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving. The two have been friends since middle school.
“They’re inseparable,” Dale Carter.
Dale Carter also said his son has been approached to play for the Jamaican national team this summer, but said the family will leave the decision whether he can play to Florida coach Billy Donovan.
“I know that Eli will have some responsibilities with summer school and workouts,” Dale Carter said.
If Carter’s waiver is approved, it could provide a boost to UF’s thin depth at backcourt. Florida point guard Scottie Wilbekin has been suspended indefinitely for violation of team rules, a suspension which could stretch into the regular season. Carter was a combo guard at Rutgers and could provide minutes both at shooting guard and to spell incoming freshman McDonald’s All-American freshman Kasey Hill at point guard.