Fans will have to wait until next season to see Shamiel Stevenson suiting up for the Huskers.
Nebraska announced on Tuesday that the NCAA has denied Stevenson’s request for an immediate eligibility waiver not once, but three times. After the NCAA denied his initial request, Nebraska filed a request for reconsideration of the waiver and that, too, was denied. On Monday, Stevenson and Nebraska’s staff participated in a telephonic appeal hearing and they received the same answer: no.
“I am disappointed and hurting for Shamiel,” Coach Fred Hoiberg said in a release. “We believed we presented a strong case on his behalf. We appreciate all the hard work that Jo Potuto and our Compliance staff put into advocating for Shamiel.
“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. We had a similar situation in Ames with four sit-out transfers in my first season at ISU and every one of them made major contributions the following season in helping us start our run of NCAA tournament appearances.”
Stevenson will have two seasons of eligibility remaining starting in 2020-21.
The 6-foot-6, 245-pound guard/forward began his career at Pittsburgh under Kevin Stallings. He averaged 8.5 points and 4.4 rebounds in 23.8 minutes per game as a freshman but the Panthers went 8-24 and Pittsburgh fired Stallings.
Pitt hired Jeff Capel to replace Stallings and Stevenson initially stuck it out, but after playing a total of 32 minutes and logging seven DNPs in the team’s first 11 games, he decided to transfer at the end of the semester and landed at Nevada.
Stevenson sat out the second semester at Nevada, but after the season coach Eric Musselman left Reno to take the head job at Arkansas. Stevenson, who never got a chanced to play for the second coach he committed to, decided to transfer again, ultimately choosing Nebraska and Hoiberg in May.
“It’s great,” Stevenson told Hail Varsity before the season began. “It’s really humbling and it really gives me a sense of stability that I haven’t had in a very long time. I’m really thankful and happy to be here.”
The Huskers had been preparing as if Stevenson would be eligible to play at some point this season, but now that’s off the table. His size, athleticism and versatile skill set would have made a big difference for an undersized Nebraska team that has struggled to rebound this season. Now Hoiberg will have to make due with what he’s had available to him during the team’s 3-2 start to the season.
Stevenson will join Western Kentucky transfer Dalano Banton, a 6-foot-8 sophomore point-forward, and Derrick Walker, a 6-foot-9 junior forward from Tennessee, as players redshirting this season.
During his first season at Iowa State, Hoiberg had four players sit out as transfers — Royce White, Chris Babb, Chris Allen and Anthony Booker — while the Cyclones went 16-16. In year two, White, Babb and Allen all started while Booker provided depth off the bench as Iowa State went 23-11 and won a game in the NCAA Tournament.
The Huskers are currently down in George Town, Grand Cayman, for the Cayman Islands Classic. Nebraska won its opening game against Washington State to advance to Tuesday’s semifinal against George Mason.
Jacob is in his third year with Hail Varsity covering Husker athletics. He has also written extensively for SB Nation’s Bright Side of the Sun and The Creightonian. His love of basketball can best be described as an obsession and if you need to find him, he’s probably in a gym somewhere watching, coaching or playing hoops.