NCAA Denied Deivon Smith’s Eligibility Waiver, Utah Set To Appeal

Dec 5, 2023, 10:48 AM | Updated: 10:57 am

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah guard Deivon Smith received some bad news recently regarding an eligibility waiver after he transferred to the Utes from Georgia Tech over the summer.

The news that the waiver was denied by the NCAA was revealed Monday night during head coach Craig Smith’s Coach’s Show with “Voice of the Utes” Bill Riley. Coach Smith also revealed Utah will be appealing the verdict.

Smith originally signed with Mississippi State out of high school and used his one free transfer to go to the Yellow Jackets in his sophomore year. Smith decided to transfer again, this time to Utah, after his junior season, after longtime Georgia Tech head coach Josh Pastner was replaced by Damon Stoudamire.

In the past, the NCAA has typically granted waivers to transfer student-athletes (who are not graduate transfers) who left their school due to a coaching change which is what has made the initial ruling surprising and why the Utes will seek an appeal.

A Long, Drawn-Out Process For Deivon Smith, Runnin’ Utes

Before the Runnin’ Utes took off for the Charleston Classic last month, coach Smith discussed the difficulties of waiting on Smith’s waiver while still trying to keep him prepared for when (if) he finally is able to suit up.

“It’s hard,” coach Smith said. “It’s hard because you are trying to do what is best for your team, you’re trying to do what is best for Deivon, you’re trying to do what is best for everyone involved. You’re trying to get Deivon some reps with the guys who are playing a lot but it’s just a fine line. It’s tough on everybody but right now we just have to operate with what we know while keeping him in-shape and on top of the playbook and our scheme. I give Deivon a lot of credit. He seems to have really been doing that and has an attitude that craves improvement. He’s been getting in the gym and getting extra shots up and doing everything he can. If and when- if he gets the waiver, he’ll be ready. If he doesn’t, then he’ll have to maximize his redshirt year.”

Deivon Thanks Fans, Staff For Support During Appeals Process

On Tuesday morning the Utah guard spoke for himself via X thanking everyone in his corner for their love and support while also confirming he intends to appeal the initial ruling on his waiver.

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on XInstagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports

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NCAA Denied Deivon Smith’s Eligibility Waiver, Utah Set To Appeal