Before the Lady Huskies took on Vanderbilt on the road Wednesday, UConn head coach Geno Auriemma didn't hold back his feelings about the failed transfer waiver of Evina Westbrook.
Up until this point, Auriemma has been quiet on the subject, as the NCAA was still doing work to see if the Tennessee transfer was allowed immediate eligibility for this season. But, after the NCAA rejected the appeal from the Huskies, Auriemma let it all out.
He claimed that Westbrook's situation -- one he couldn't get into details on -- should have shown the NCAA that a transfer was needed when she joined the school last offseason. However, the NCAA didn't view things that why, and Auriemma cant' see why.
"Think about this: A kid's in an environment that's not necessarily healthy, an environment that, if you knew what the environment was, which I can't say, you would not want your kid in that environment," he told reporters. "And the athletic director there knows it, but he's not going to support her leaving, which would have helped us a little bit. And now, her reward is she has to sit at home even when we travel and can't play."
Westbrook is allowed to practice with her new teammates, but that's not the point. The rules state that there must be a "specific, extraordinary circumstance" that was out of her control for eligibility to be allowed. Auriemma deemed it a "special situation," which is "why we asked [the NCAA], that's why we went as far as we did."
Westbrook will still have two more years of eligibility, starting in the 2020-21 season after the NCAA's final verdict.