Illinois transfer Mark Smith granted immediate eligibility from NCAA

The former four-star recruit will forgo his year-long transfer ineligibility after being granted a waiver.
Mark Smith in a game for Illinois during the 2017-2018 season. Getty Images

Illinois transfer Mark Smith has been granted a waiver from the NCAA making him immediately eligible to play for Missouri this season, a team spokesman said.

Smith, a sophomore guard, was slated to sit this year for the Tigers while serving out a transfer ineligibility period. Instead, the team confirmed in a release, he is the latest example in the NCAA’s sudden change of course regarding its attitude toward transfers. Numerous other transfers around the country have been granted similar waivers this offseason.

Smith will have three years of eligibility at Missouri.

The Tigers are also awaiting a waiver decision from the NCAA for Evansville transfer Dru Smith. There is no word yet on his status, the team spokesman said.

Mark Smith was a top-60 2017 recruit and one of the first commitments landed by Illinois coach Brad Underwood, but the 6-foot-4 guard announced he would transfer from the Illini in March after a slow freshman season. He committed to Missouri the following month.

Smith averaged 5.8 points per game in 19 starts for Illinois last season after being the state's Gatorade Player of the Year in high school. The Evansville native is the third former Illinois signee on Missouri's eligible roster, joining fellow sophomore Jeremiah Tilmon and freshman Javon Pickett.

Smith marks another addition to Missouri's guard-heavy lineup. He also add another body to a roster seeking depth of any form after the season-ending knee injury suffered by sophomore Jontay Porter last Sunday.

Edited by Anne Clinkenbeard | aclinkenbeard@themaneater.com

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