Eligibility Decision Looming

West Virginia's men's basketball program is hoping for a quick resolution to the NCAA's investigation of eligibility issues surrounding Volodymyr Gerun, and the final word could go in a couple of different directions.

Earlier this summer, it was determined that Volodymyr Gerun's playing career included professional participation, so the NCAA ruled that Gerun would be a sophomore upon entering WVU. That was thought to be the end of that issue, but prior to West Virginia's open scrimmage last week, head coach Bob Huggins revealed that Gerun, known as "Voldy" to his coaches and teammates, was nearing the end of a 45-day period in which he was allowed to practice while awaiting a final ruling on his eligibility issues.

That 45-day period, which began when Gerun enrolled at West Virginia, is unfortunately just a one-way deadline. After that day passes, Gerun cannot practice or play for WVU until the NCAA makes a decision. Were he to do so, and then have the NCAA rule him initially ineligible, he would never be able to play for West Virginia. Thus, the decision to sit him out of the scrimmage, which was at least partially designed to show WVU's willingness to work with the NCAA to reach a quick conclusion.

On the flip side, there's no binding date by which the NCAA has to make its ruling. Theoretically, it could drag out for days, weeks or months. While that's unlikely to happen, it's just another example of the illogical and unfair practices that the NCAA exhibits. West Virginia hasn't let this issue sit, and has been in regular contact with the NCAA to provide information and encourage it to make its ruling known quickly.

WVU, according to sources with knowledge of the situation, expects a decision to be made soon, and one upside is that the final ruling could turn out to be in West Virginia's favor. Additional evidence has been gathered to support Gerun's amateur status, so it could possibly wind up that Gerun is a freshman this year instead of a sophomore, in terms of hoops eligibility.

As with all things related to the NCAA, the only thing that can be done at this point is wait. West Virginia has made its case, and now must see if it is convincing enough to the anonymous reviewers in the big house in Indianapolis.

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