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The New York Post
September 17, 2013 Tuesday
All Editions; Pg. 45
|NCAA tweaks transfer rule
Call it the Kerwin Okoro rule.
Just three days after the NCAA granted the Rutgers forward a waiver after initially turning down his request, it is changing its policy for grieving student-athletes who transfer, CBSSports.com reported and sources confirmed.
NCAA vice president of academic and membership affairs Kevin Lennon told the website a guideline has been added to enable students to play immediately at a new school if they transfer after the death of an immediate family member. Lennon told CBS the change is a direct result of Okoro's case.
Rutgers declined to comment or make Okoro, a Bronx product and St. Raymond alum, available. Okoro left Iowa State for Rutgers after losing two relatives in a three-month span.
His 72-year old father Stanislaus passed away in December after a stroke and younger brother Idiongo succumbed to colon cancer in February.
Okoro wanted to be closer to home, but his waiver request was initially turned down because there was no such rule in place.
Prior to the new guideline, waivers were granted for student athletes with a family member or guardian suffering from an illness, injury, financial hardship or given a short period of time to live.
It set off national outrage across social media sites, notably Twitter. ESPN's Dick Vitale led the charge, calling on NCAA president Mark Emmert to make a change.
"I would like to thank the NCAA for granting me a waiver," the 19-year old Okoro sad in a statement on Friday.
"I am very humbled by all the support I have received throughout the process, both from my basketball families at Rutgers and Iowa State. I look forward to working with my teammates and coaches to have a successful season. I feel very fortunate to be at Rutgers and close to my family. I can't wait to play ball."
Okoro played in nine games, averaging 3.6 minutes and one point per game for Iowa State last season.
September 17, 2013