The University of Tulsa was hopeful about the possibility of having Arkansas transfer guard Keyshawn Embery-Simpson eligible this season, but his waiver and subsequent appeal were denied by the NCAA.
“I thought he had a legitimate (case) from a humanistic standpoint to be eligible to play,” coach Frank Haith said Thursday. “I’m disappointed by that for him, but I think we all can be positive to him and for him and encourage him. He has this year to really get better and develop and get stronger and do some good things.”
A former four-star recruit from Midwest City, Embery-Simpson likely would have been a starter for the Hurricane this season. He averaged 14.6 minutes per game for the Razorbacks last season, scoring 4.1 points per game.
Embery-Simpson left Arkansas after coach Mike Anderson was fired in March, but the head-coaching change was not the primary reason cited on his waiver paperwork, a source close to the situation said.
“His story is compelling,” Haith said. “To say that this process isn’t consistent, I think that is the right word.”
As of Tuesday, only four of 40 transfer waivers ruled on by the NCAA ahead of the college basketball season had been denied, Stadium basketball analyst Jeff Goodman reported. Waiver requests by Houston and Tulane, teams in the American Athletic Conference with Tulsa, were granted in the past week.
The Hurricane also is awaiting word on the immediate eligibility of Curtis Haywood II, a guard from Oklahoma City who transferred from Georgia Tech.