WMBD/WYZZ-TV - CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Ahmad Starks will have to sit out this basketball season afterall.
The NCAA denied a hardship waiver requested by Illinois on behalf of Starks, who transferred from Oregon State. Starks, who played three seasons at OSU, will stay on the Illini sidelines this year and have one season of eligibility remaining next year.
The senior guard from Whitney Young High School was hoping to get the harship waiver and play this season in Champaign. Starks says he transferred to the Illini to be close to his ailing grandmother, who lives in Chicago.
"We are all disappointed with the decision to deny the waiver and expecially feel bad for Ahmad and his family," Illinois coach John Groce said in a statement Tuesday. "Ahmad had a compelling case, returning to his home state to be closer to (his) grandmother, who played an instrumental role in raising him."
Starks will be able to practice with the team but won't travel with the Illini this season.
"(He) will focus on preparing our team in practice while also making individual improvement," said Groce. "Fuled by the goal of returning to the court in 2014-15."
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