CHARLESTON/MORGANTOWN, WV (WVNS) — The West Virginia University Men’s Basketball is getting some help in regards to the NCAA’s recent decision regarding RaeQuan Battle.
On Monday, October 23, 2023, the NCAA denied the waiver of immediate eligibility for Fifth-Year Senior transfer RaeQuan Battle. Battle transferred to WVU after spending two seasons at Montana State.
WVU has since filed an appeal to the NCAA.
The day after the NCAA’s decision, on Tuesday, October 24, 2023, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey released a statement voicing his “dismay” with the NCAA and their decision. The full statement can be seen here.
59News was able to virtually sit down with AG Morrisey to gain insight into his role in the process and why he felt strongly enough to take action.
When asked why he initially made the statement towards the NCAA, he said RaeQuan Battle’s story is reason in itself to grant immediate eligibility.
I was deeply disappointed with the decision. Especially knowing that we are dealing with someone who has a very compelling story. This is someone who grew up on a reservation, he has had to overcome a lot of personal challenges and turmoil. There are questions raised about mental health. This is very serious.Patrick Morrisey | West Virginia Attorney General
RaeQuan Battle grew up on the Tulalip Reservation in Tulalip, Washington where he played high school basketball for Marysville-Pilchuck High School. During his high school career he won two district championships in a row while becoming the school’s all-time leading scorer, finishing with 1,667 points.
RaeQuan became the first Tulalip Tribe member to earn a Division I basketball scholarship.
AG Morrisey continued to say that when it comes to school transfers an d decisions made by the NCAA, the student-athlete should always come first.
It is important for the NCAA to put the best interest of RaeQuan and WVU in front of their everchanging rules…When you have this kind of flux when dealing with these transfer waivers, put the interest of the athlete first and look at the compelling personal story.Patrick Morrisey | WV Attorney General
When talking in regards to the legal aspect of the process, Morrisey spoke on the possible violation of anti-trust laws when it comes to the player and the newer formation of Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) rules and regulations.
Where the Attorney General’s office comes through is that we have to enforce antitrust laws in our state. When you talk about delaying when an individual athlete could participate or perhaps earn money for a year, especially in the age of NIL. That raises issues potentially to restraint of trade. At least it requires us to take a look at that, and that is what we are doing.Patrick Morrisey | WV Attorney General
While WVU may not be a ‘blue-blood’ when talking about college basketball, they still deserve the same treatment as schools like Kentucky, Kansas, Duke, and North Carolina. In the end, all AG Morrisey, WVU, and Mountaineer fans want is to have the University and its student-athletes be treated fairly.
WVU is not a blue-blood basketball institution and I want to make sure it is treated fairly compared to the Duke’s and the Kentucky’s and all of the top schools you think about in basketball. WVU and Marshall, those West Virginia schools need to get a fair shake.Patrick Morrisey | WV Attorney General
Only time will tell if RaeQuan will get the much deserved opportunity to suit up for the Mountaineers this season. However, one thing is for sure, WVU faithful will be cheering him on both on and off the court.
Stick with 59News for updates on the NCAA’s decision.