The NCAA ruled Arizona Wildcats forward Zach Peters will be able to play this season, and he will have four years of eligibility left after transferring from Kansas.
"Today’s news from the NCAA is very exciting for Zach and his family, as well as our basketball program,” Arizona coach Sean Miller said in a UA statement. “There was a lot of effort and cooperation that went into this waiver process. We’d like to thank the NCAA, the University of Kansas and many members of the Arizona Athletics family for their tireless efforts to make this a reality.
“To this point, Zach has participated with us and we’re still in the process of him returning to full competition and contact. Zach has made tremendous progress in his time at Arizona, and we’re optimistic that with continued improvement, that time will come in the near future.”
Peters left Kansas after the fall semester last year after suffering five concussions over the previous two years, and enrolled at a junior college near his Texas home. After improving last spring, he transferred to Arizona with the intent of playing basketball.
Peters said Wednesday that he signed a form that would not allow him to transfer for medical reasons, which may have complicated the process. The NCAA had to judge whether he left Kansas for reasons out of his control, and UA coach Sean Miller said a case was presented to the NCAA that it was out of his control.
Miller also expressed frustration that the NCAA had gone "0 for 5" in windows that it indicated a ruling would be made, though today's ruling arrives just before the Wildcats will begin full practices on Friday.
“I’ve tried to remain patient throughout this process, and today’s news is definitely a relief,” Peters said in a UA statement. “I’ve been making strides physically with the goal of getting back to full competition, and, right now, it’s about honoring that process. I’m excited to keep improving and it’s great to be able to put my focus on the season ahead.”
Provided he proves healthy -- Peters has still stayed out of full contract drills because of previous head injuries -- he is expected to play a top reserve role in the UA frontcourt, and Miller has said his shooting skill would be an important addition. The Wildcats lost a good-shooting big man in Grant Jerrett, who left for the NBA after one season.