BLOOMINGTON – Frustrated by the loss of his coach and another wasted season, Eli Holman said he's headed home this weekend to ponder his future.
The Hoosiers' 6'9" freshman said Wednesday he'll return to his Richmond, Cal., home this weekend to sit down with family and friends to decide if he wants to come back for a second go-around with IU next fall.
"When I come back next week, hopefully I'll have my decision by then," Holman said.
What makes this an even more troubling situation for Holman is the consequences of transferring. If he decides to continue his collegiate career at another Division I school he'd be forced to sit out the entire 2008-09 season. While that's something many freshmen can tolerate, it would be a tough pill for Holman to swallow.
That's because Holman has already missed the majority of his last three seasons as basketball.
Holman was suspended for 18 months by the California Interscholastic Federation for pushing a game official on Dec. 3, 2005. He missed the remainder of the '05-'06 season and had hopes of being reinstated for his senior season, but those hopes were dashed when his appeal was denied.
After arriving at IU, he played in six of the Hoosiers' first nine games before Coach Kelvin Sampson said he injured his left wrist in the week leading up to the Western Carolina game.
Soon afterwards, Sampson said IU would likely pursue a medical redshirt for Holman since he didn't expect him to be cleared to play until "three or four games into Big Ten season." The problem with that, though, is the only way to be granted a medical redshirt is if a player suffers a season-ending injury and the player has played in less than 20 percent of the team's games.
That obstacle was cleared later when Sampson said the ligament damage to Holman's wrist was worse than originally anticipated and that it would in fact be a season-ender. With that, Holman spent remainder of his debut season on the sidelines as the most colorfully-dressed man on IU's bench.
"It was hard," Holman said of the season. "My two or three years sitting out, I expected to come in and help contribute. I think it would have been nice to have another body in there against Arkansas, but it happens for a reason."
One way or another, Holman's time on IU's bench are all but over. If he decides to transfer he'll be headed somewhere else when the semester comes to a close. If he decides to stay he figures to be one of the Hoosiers' primary low-post players.
But right now, that's little consolation for a player who's been waiting, and waiting, and waiting…
"It's been a long year for me," Holman said. "I'm kind of happy it's over."
By next week, we'll likely find out of his IU career is over as well.
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