Well, that was quick.
Just one day after the Atlanta Journal-Constitution broke the story of Nathan Harries, a freshman basketball player at Colgate, being docked a year of eligibility for playing three games in a recreational church league, the NCAA has changed its mind.
On Thursday, the governing body restored Harries’ eligibility, approving the participation waiver it had originally denied back on Oct. 21. Colgate had filed an appeal on Harries’ behalf, but the decision was reversed before the appeals process even began.
“I can confirm that Nathan Harries has been granted four full years of eligibility,” NCAA spokesman Chad Radford told the Journal-Constitution.
The Journal-Constitution’s original reporting of the suspension was picked up by numerous news outlets on Wednesday, leading to widespread criticism of the NCAA’s decision to punish Harries, who spent two years after high school serving a Mormon mission before enrolling at Colgate, for what amounted to a few pick-up games.
Harries’ father, Michael Harries, told the newspaper after news of his son’s reinstatement that he was ”absolutely relieved” by the NCAA’s choice to see reason.
“I’m thankful the NCAA looked at this for what it is,” he said. “…They should’ve looked at it the first time. We thought it was a no-brainer.”
Harries traveled with the team on Thursday and will be in uniform when the Raiders open their season Friday night at Wake Forest.
Thumbnail photo via Facebook/Colgate Raiders Men’s Basketball