Tennessee got some really bad news on Saturday, learning that center Uros Plavsic would not be eligible to play this season. The seven foot post player transferred in from Arizona State this offseason after redshirting and not playing at all in 2018-19.
After an appeals process that lasted the length of the offseason, Plavsic was denied eligibility on Saturday. An initial appeal was also denied, according to a statement released by Tennessee.
“Uros Plavsic was denied clearance to compete with our men’s basketball program this season, and our appeal of that decision also was denied,” Tennessee AD Phillip Fulmer said in his statement. “We are extremely disappointed – quite frankly, stunned – in this outcome, and feel strongly that very compelling facts support clearance for immediate eligibility. We are at a loss as to how this decision aligns with a mission of prioritizing the well-being of student-athletes, and we are struggling to provide an explanation to a deserving young man who stands to lose a year of eligibility. We will stand by Uroš and support him in every way possible as we exhaust all options in advocating for his competitive opportunity.”
From the tone of that statement, you kind of got the idea that Tennessee wasn’t done trying here. According to Rick Barnes, that’s exactly what they’re doing.
While talking at Knoxville QB Club, Rick Barnes confirms that #Vols have another appeal process they can go through with Uros Plavsic and that's what they plan to do.— @GrantRamey (@GrantRamey) November 4, 2019
Plavsic figured to be a big part of Tennessee’s frontcourt this season, adding an element of size that they wouldn’t have without him. Barnes started John Fulkerson and Yves Pons in the exhibition last week. He will likely do the same this week.
But maybe, just maybe, Tennessee and Plavsic have a glimmer of hope here. We’ll see.