Nebraska forward Shamiel Stevenson was denied three times by the NCAA to become immediately eligible, the school announced Tuesday. He will have to sit out this season, but will have two years of eligibility remaining beginning with the 2020-21 season.
“I am disappointed and hurting for Shamiel.” Nebraska coach Fred Hoiberg said in a statement. “We believed we presented a strong case on his behalf.”
Stevenson started his basketball career at Pittsburgh in the 2017-18 season. He appeared in 32 games, scoring 8.5 points per game. He then transferred to Nevada four games into his sophomore season. He sat out at Nevada for the spring 2019 semester, then transferred again at the end of that semester to Nebraska after coach Eric Musselman left for Arkansas.
Nebraska could not apply for an immediate eligibility waiver until Stevenson was enrolled full time in classes. That process didn't begin until August. After compiling the case, Nebraska applied for an immediate eligibility waiver in October.
That was denied recently, NU said in the statement. The school then filed a request for reconsideration, and that was denied. On Monday at the Cayman Islands Classic, Stevenson and the coaching staff participated in an appeal hearing by phone. That final appeal was also denied.
A source close to the program told The World-Herald recently one of the main complications of Stevenson’s case had to do with his brief stint at Nevada, and his double transfer in one basketball season.
Stevenson is one of three Nebraska players, along with Derrick Walker and Dalano Banton, sitting out this season after transferring. In his statement, Hoiberg cited a similar situation when he was at Iowa State in which he had four sit-out transfers make "major contributions" during NCAA tournament runs.
“Although this is a setback for Shamiel, we feel confident we can continue to provide him an opportunity to have a successful year developing alongside Derrick Walker and Dalano Banton,” Hoiberg said.
Stevenson spoke to the media for the first time during Nebraska's media day in October. He said the process has been frustrating, but Nebraska felt really good about the waiver.
“I’m a versatile-type player, so I feel like I can do anything," Stevenson said. "Whatever the game's identity or whatever we need in the game, I can address it, whether it's rebounds, getting to the rim, defense."