Justin Maskulinski, Senior Staff Writer

Miami University men’s basketball received some great news from the NCAA for the upcoming season: Sophomore guard Willie Moore has been granted eligibility for the upcoming season.

“I’m very excited to be back on the court,” Moore said. “I’m happy to be closer to my family and at a great school.”

Moore appeared in 26 games last year for the University of Oregon while averaging two points per game. Moore lived in Cincinnati and played at Aiken High School. During his senior year, Moore averaged 16.8 points, 9.1 rebounds and four assists per game.

Miami head coach John Cooper said Moore’s eligibility will positively impact the team.

“I think it’s like anything; the more talent you have, the better you feel about the team,” Cooper said. “He brings some things that make us a better team.”

Typically an athlete who transfers is forced to sit out one year before playing, but Moore was granted a waiver.

Deputy Athletic Director Mark Rountree described the process for receiving a waiver. The process involves presenting the student’s case to the NCAA, and then the NCAA decides if the case merits a waiver.  All together, Rountree said the process typically takes six to eight weeks.

“A lot of the responsibility falls on the student; a lot of the work went to Willie,” Rountree said. “It allowed him to help himself.”

The waiver Moore received is based on circumstances that were not released for Moore’s privacy.

“The NCAA has a process that a student-athlete can seek relief from sitting out an academic year of residence for transferring from one school to another, if the circumstances that led to the transfer were beyond the control of the student,” Rountree said.

Cooper was especially thankful to the University of Oregon staff for their assistance in the process.

“Anytime two administrations can work together towards the well-being of the kid, it’s a great situation,” Cooper said. “I’m happy that Willie can fulfill his lifelong dream of playing college basketball at the Division-I level.”

Moore said he is excited to be a member of the RedHawk basketball team.

“It means a lot [to be on the team],” Moore said. “The coaching staff is awesome; from the head coach down, I love them all. My teammates are great and I can’t wait to play.”

The RedHawks open their regular season at the University of Notre Dame Friday Nov. 8. The home opener is Saturday, Nov. 23 against Wilmington College at Millett Hall.

The RedHawks placed last in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) East Division last year, but Cooper said he believes the team will improve after a year in the new system.

“Obviously we want the team to improve and get better,” Cooper said. “We’ve got more guys that are familiar with our style of play. The goal every year is to compete and wi
n a MAC Championship.”