Syracuse, N.Y. -- Paschal Chukwu hasn't thought much about attempting to gain back the Syracuse basketball season he missed with a serious eye injury. He said last week he would consider investigating the possibilities after the 2018-19 season.
How he would qualify for what would be a sixth year in a college basketball program requires the filing of paperwork for two different waivers.
First, some background:
Chukwu, the 7-foot-2 center, transferred from Providence College to Syracuse in June 2015. He played one year for the Friars.
He sat out the 2015-16 season as NCAA transfer rules mandate and had three seasons of college basketball eligibility remaining, starting in 2016-17.
But that season, Chukwu was hit in his right eye by a basketball during an Orange game. The injury would temporarily blind him and eventually cost him the rest of the season. At that point, he had appeared in seven Syracuse games.
To get a medical hardship waiver, an athlete cannot appear in more than 30 percent of his/her team's games in a season. Syracuse played 34 games in 2016-17, so Chukwu would appear to fall into a qualifying category. To apply for the medical waiver, Syracuse would submit paperwork on Chukwu's behalf to the ACC office, which would issue a ruling. If the conference denies the waiver, it can be appealed.
Here's where Chukwu's situation gets interesting. He played last season at Syracuse. He will play this season at Syracuse. The NCAA has a rule that gives college athletes five years to play four seasons. The five-year clock starts when the athlete arrives on campus his freshman year.
This will be Chukwu's fifth year at an NCAA member institution.
Athletes can apply for a waiver of the five-to-play-four rule, too. In Chukwu's case, he would need to win his medical hardship case, then have Syracuse "request a clock extension" on the five-year rule, said Christopher Radford, the NCAA Associate Director of Public and Media Relations. Those clock extensions, Radford said, are "not uncommon."
A successful medical hardship waiver would essentially wipe a season from Chukwu's college basketball timeline. He would then use five years to complete four full seasons of college basketball, including what the NCAA terms its "year in residency" -- the season Chukwu sat out after transferring.Tide Dress Print Blue Cosmic Womens Dreamer Billabong YCqxwRz4x
Here's how Chukwu's college basketball career has looked to this point:
Year 1 (2014-15) Providence College
Year 2 (2015-16) Sat out transfer season at Syracuse per NCAA's "year of residency."
Year 3 (2016-17) Played seven games before an eye injury ended his season
Year 4 (2017-18) Played an entire season at Syracuse
Year 5 (2018-19) Plans to play an entire season at Syracuse
Potential Year 6 (2019-20) Should he apply for and be granted a medical hardship waiver and a clock extension