27 May 2012
Huge, huge news. And not just because Jamie Dixon tweeted for the first time since 2009 (via):
No idea how or why Zeigler's appeal was granted. The NCAA always seems to be saying that players need to commit to the school and not the coach, but with Zeigler's father being the fired coach, it seems to have reversed course.
Trey Zeigler will play this season as a true junior. He scored over 1,000 points in his first two seasons at Central Michigan.
Pitt was always confident that he would be granted a waiver (via the PG):
Pitt coach Jamie Dixon credited associate athletic director Dan Bartholomae for researching other cases involving players whose parents were dismissed. The highest profile case involved a baseball player being granted immediate eligibility at Miami after his father was fired at USC.
To Dixon's knowledge, Zeigler is the first men's basketball player to be granted immediate eligibility in such a case.
"We felt like there was a really good chance this would happen," Dixon said Friday night. "After Dan did all of the research, we were very hopeful based on what he was telling us. We expected this decision."
A heartfelt job well done to the athletic department as a whole and Dan Bartholomae in particular.
The Trib was first to get quotes from Zeigler (via the Trib):
“It was a surprise that it happened this early,” Zeigler said. “We kind of knew I had a shot at it before I even committed.”
Dixon recruited Zeigler but knew the teen’s opportunity to play for his father would be difficult to overcome.
“There are certain things you don’t recruit against,” Dixon said. “One of them is a guy coaching his own son.”
Zeigler is no stranger to Pitt; Ernie Zeigler worked as a Panthers assistant from 2001-03. The younger Zeigler was 10 years old when he met Dixon.
“Without question, it’s home,” Ernie Zeigler said, explaining how his son grew up watching the emergence of Pitt basketball. In both seasons the elder Zeigler served as an assistant, the Panthers made it to the Sweet 16.
Pitt fans have been craving a slashing two guard ever since the Kemba Walker Show at MSG in 2010. Here he is. And like Walker, Zeigler is a high-volume shooter, averaging over 15.6 13.5 attempts per game - and only a .462 .395 FG% (EDIT: looked at freshman stats orginially)- as the one-man show at CMU. How he adjusts to a team with scoring threats Tray Woodall and JJ Moore remain to be seen.
But this is very, very good news. Pitt should now not only be expected to return to the NCAA tournament in 2013, but should be expected to contend for a final Big East championship.
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