Bob Holt is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Missouri, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy, Biletnikoff Award and AP Top 25 basketball poll. Holt was awarded Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year in 2000 and 2015.
Harris’ appeal denied
NWA Media/Spencer Tirey -- Alandise Harris won't be eligible for the Razorbacks this season after transferring from Houston.
HOOVER, Ala. Alandise Harris will have to wait until next season to play for Arkansas’ men’s basketball team.
The NCAA has denied a waiver request from Arkansas that would have allowed the transfer from Houston to play this season, Razorbacks Coach Mike Anderson said Tuesday night during a speaking engagement in Fayetteville.
Harris, a 6-6 forward from Little Rock, must redshirt this season and will be a fourthyear junior for the 2013-2014 season with two seasons of eligibility remaining.
It would have been a major boost for the Razorbacks this season if the NCAA had granted Harris’ waiver request for family reasons. He started 29 games for Houston last season and averaged 13.3 points and 6.4 rebounds in 29.8 minutes per game. He had 18 points and six rebounds in the Cougars’ 87-78 victory over Arkansas last season at North Little Rock’s Verizon Arena despite being limited to 23 minutes because of foul trouble.
Harris’ mother, Alberta Harris, died two years ago when he was a freshman, but he decided to stay at Houston through his sophomore season. He has two sisters who live in Little Rock, and his waiver request was based on his desire to be closer to his family.
Under NCAA transfer rules, a player has to sit out for a season if he moves from one Division I school to another unless a waiver is granted.
Earlier this year, the NCAA granted former Razorback Devonta Abron, who transferred from Arkansas to TCU after last season, immediate eligibility based on a waiver for family reasons.
While Harris can’t play this season, he is eligible to practice. He starred at Little Rock Central High School before signing with Houston, where he averaged 9.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game as a freshman.
Arkansas will open the season with 14 eligible players on its roster and will add a 15th player after the first semester when Fred Gulley, a guard from Fayetteville, becomes eligible. Gulley, a junior, transferred from Oklahoma State last January.
Sports, Pages 17 on 10/25/2012