Ohio State's waiver request to allow Bucknell transfer guard Jimmy Sotos to play immediately was denied by the NCAA, a source confirmed to Eleven Warriors. The basketball program plans to appeal the decision.
Stadium's Jeff Goodman first reported the news.
Chris Holtmann had revealed three weeks ago that Ohio State put in a waiver to allow for Sotos to play right away. At the time, it came as a surprise given the 6-foot-3, 200-pound combo guard has only one year of eligibility remaining.
Holtmann initially brought Sotos in with the idea that he would sit out the 2020-21 season before pairing up with Duane Washington Jr. and current high school seniors Meechie Johnson and Malaki Branham to lead the backcourt in 2021-22. Sotos had bought in to that plan.
"I'll have access to the resources at Ohio State, some of the best trainers. I think an entire year to just focus on my development could be huge for me," Sotos told Eleven Warriors in April. "And the team, I'll be able to learn what Coach is looking for. I can become extensively coached on the court by the time it is my time to play."
The waiver application, however, signaled Ohio State had reconsidered its plans with Sotos – even though it wasn't yet clear whether or not he'd play in the upcoming season if it was approved. The team just wanted the option of getting him to play right away.
Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, though, their initial attempt to have Sotos cleared to play in the 2020-21 season failed, and they'll have to rely on an appeal. It's especially disappointing for the team because the NCAA has moved to grant all winter athletes an extra year of eligibility, meaning Ohio State wouldn't have to worry about burning Sotos' one remaining college season.
Sotos, a three-year starter at Bucknell, averaged 11.5 points, 3.9 assists and 3.5 rebounds in 32.1 minutes per game last season while shooting 40.6 percent from the field, 37.1 percent from 3-point range and 80 percent from the foul line.