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Pitt Basketball

Pitt Still Waiting to Hear from NCAA about Nike Sibande’s Eligibility Appeal

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They say that no news is good news.

For senior Pitt guard Nike Sibande and the Panthers, they certainly hope that’s the case.

As Pitt works through the early part of its 2020-21 schedule, playing its second game against Drexel on Saturday, the Panthers still do not know if Sibande will be eligible this season.

After transferring from Miami University (Ohio) in the offseason, Sibande’s initial request for an eligibility waiver to be able to play without sitting out a year was denied, in part because his coaches at Miami did not support the request.

That started a public back-and-forth between Miami, Pitt and Sibande about the contents and wording of his request. Sibande appealed the NCAA’s decision, but Pitt is still waiting to find out when that appeal will be heard.

“I haven’t heard anything,” head coach Jeff Capel said on Saturday. “I’m not sure when we will. Hopefully soon.”

Because of the NCAA blanket eligibility waiver for the 2020-21 season, the decision will have a huge impact on Sibande’s potential tenure at Pitt. He transferred with one season of eligibility remaining. But if he’s able to play in 2020-21, he will granted an additional season and be able to play in 2021-22 with the Panthers as well, if he chooses to.

If Sibande’s request is denied, he will have to sit out this season while wrapping up his collegiate career in 2021-22.

Sibande averaged 13.9 points per game last season for the RedHawks and would immediately improve Pitt’s depth at shooting guard, where they’ve relied heavily on redshirt sophomore Ithiel Horton through two games, and also bumped Au’Diese Toney up to the No. 2 spot at times.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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