Former St. Joseph's basketball player Todd O'Brien wrote a guest article for Sports Illustrated to ask for a scholarship release the school has been unwilling to grant.
O'Brien decided to leave St. Joseph's in order to pursue a graduate degree in public administration at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, but St. Joseph's has not granted the release from his scholarship that O'Brien needs to be eligible to play basketball at UAB. O'Brien applied for a waiver that would allow him to play, but the NCAA denied his request.
"The rules state that I needed my release from St. Joe's, and I didn't have it. I am the first person to be denied this waiver based on a school's refusal," wrote O'Brien.
As a fifth-year student, this year is O'Brien's final season to play before his NCAA eligibility dries up. Student-athletes are allowed to transfer schools without sitting out a season if they are pursuing a graduate degree, as long as their former school gives them a release. But St. Joseph's -- at the urging of coach Phil Martelli, according to O'Brien -- is determined not to let O'Brien play for UAB.
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