In stunning news, the Colorado Buffaloes announced Thursday that freshman forward Evan Battey will redshirt in the 2017-18 season. Battey was ruled ineligible by the NCAA and will be forced to take an academic redshirt. He will have four years of eligibility starting in 2018-19.
The suspension comes from Evan Battey having repeated the 9th grade after transferred high schools in Los Angeles. Battey was also forced to sit from playing his senior season at Villa Park High School because he was ruled to have used up his eight semesters of eligibility. It’s unfair to Battey that he is effectively being punished for the same issue as he was last year and he will miss two full years of basketball by the time he’s eligible next season.
Tad Boyle is furious with the NCAA. In the Buffs’ statement, he said:
“I've been coaching Division I basketball for 24 years, I'm not sure I've ever been around a kid who is more academically and athletically ready to play . . . We went through the waiver process. We lost the waiver process and it is extremely disappointing. The people on the waiver committee missed the boat on this one. They have no idea what kind of kid Evan Battey is; certainly how ready he is to be a college student-athlete."
Battey is one of the most game-ready freshmen we’ve ever seen at CU and he was likely going to be a major fixture for the team this season. With shooting and playmaking ability rare for his size, there was a decent chance he would even start.
Without Battey in the fold, the Buffs are precariously thin in the frontcourt. They now have Tory Miller (Sr.), Lucas Siewert (So.) and Dallas Walton (Fr.-RS) capable of playing down low. Colorado will either be forced to play small-ball more than Boyle typically wants, or Siewert and Walton will have to play more than they may be ready for.
In the meantime, Battey will spend this upcoming season working as hard as possible on his game. He lost a ton of weight over the summer and he’s aiming to be in even better shape by next year. And like George King did in his redshirt season, Battey will almost definitely add much more to his game.
During games, expect Battey to be as enthusiastic on the bench as anyone we’ve seen. He’s such a joyous person and we should be excited to see how great of a hype man he can be this season.