“It’s big news,” Sanchez said. “I can play next year. I’m so happy. I’m going to call my grandma right now and tell her the great news. I’m going to tell them ‘I’m free. I can play.’”
St. John’s sought out legal council of Robert Orr, who had previously represented highly touted UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad, to help Sanchez in the appeal process.
“I am delighted to receive this good news for Orlando and St. John’s,” Orr said in a statement. “It is the right decision and I’m appreciative of the NCAA staff working with us in order to reconsider the waiver request.”
As of now, Sanchez will be the 13th scholarship player on the roster for the Red Storm for the start of the 2013-14 season, the maximum allowed by the NCAA.
However, this won’t prevent Steve Lavin and staff to continue recruiting players for next season.
St. John’s elected to redshirt God’sgift Achiuwa at the beginning of the season. The young Red Storm team was expected to go through some growing pains this year and redshirting Achiuwa was seen as an insurance plan.
Achiuwa had another year to develop his basketball skills and when the Red Storm were more ready to compete he would be able to step in.
However, if Achiuwa chooses, he could become an immediately eligible transfer player after completing his undergraduate degree this school year.
In order to be immediately eligible, Achiuwa would have to enroll at another university and pursue a major not currently offered by St. John’s for his graduate degree.
This would free up a scholarship for St. John’s, while also allowing Achiuwa to play immediately, ultimately a win-win scenario for both parties.
In addition to the possibility of Achiuwa transferring, a source tells JohnnyJungle.com that transfer Max Hooper could decide to forfeit his scholarship and walk-on as a member of the team.