UF's Carter to get redshirt
Published: Monday, December 9, 2013 at 3:09 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, December 9, 2013 at 3:09 p.m.
Florida’s projected depth on its 2013-14 roster took another hit Monday.
Junior guard Eli Carter will take a medical redshirt this season due to lingering issues from a broken leg he suffered in February, coach Billy Donovan confirmed.
Carter had until today’s game against Kansas to decide whether to sit out the rest of the season or play at less than 100 percent through his junior year. The medical redshirt will give the 6-foot-2 transfer from Rutgers time to heal.
“It’s a situation where the trainers and doctors feel like the best thing for him is to shut him down,” Donovan said.
Carter was given a waiver from the NCAA to play right away for the Gators due to fallout from the player abuse scandal involving former Rutgers coach Mike Rice. But it was apparent early this season that Carter wasn’t the same player who averaged 14.9 points per game last season for the Scarlet Knights.
Carter did not play in UF’s last game at Connecticut and averaged just 0.4 points and 0.7 rebounds in limited minutes off the bench in seven games.
Carter joins Dillon Graham (hip surgery) as the second UF guard sidelined this season with a medical redshirt.
Harris still on team
Donovan denied a report that junior center Damontre Harris has been kicked off the team, but said he has not met face-to-face with the junior center since Thanksgiving.
Donovan said he’s traded text messages with the 6-foot-10 South Carolina transfer who has been suspended from the team since the beginning of the season for undisclosed disciplinary reasons.
“Nothing has changed in terms of what he needs to do,” Donovan said. “Right now his main focus is continuing to finish up school.”
Walker nearing enrollment
The news is more promising on potential incoming McDonald’s All-American freshman forward Chris Walker.
The 6-foot-10 Walker has completed his required coursework, but is still not enrolled at UF, Donovan said. If or when Walker enrolls for the second semester, he would be eligible to begin practicing with the team this Saturday.
“It's out of my hands right now,” Donovan said. “It's with our university. He's got to go through, you know, an admissions process like any other student here for the second semester. He's got to obviously go through the Clearinghouse with the NCAA to be cleared.”
Asked if Walker faced any other NCAA compliance issues, Donovan responded: “Chris has fully cooperated and done everything that's been asked of him to this point, so it's really out of our hands. I think he’s done everything he needs to do, is supposed to. I feel very confident with what he’s been able to do. But again, our school’s got to look at his transcript, they’ve got to deem him admissible, and then his work has got to go to the Clearinghouse, which the NCAA deems as being qualified. And then from there any other issues that are out of our hands that he has to deal with he’ll have to deal with.”
Walker and UF teammate Kasey Hill both played for a travel league team in 2012 (the Florida Rams, coached by Matt Ramker) that was shut down by the NCAA due to its ties with sports agent Andy Miller. Walker could potentially practice with the Gators if he is enrolled in school, but not compete in games until he’s cleared by UF’s compliance department.
Donovan has ruled Walker out for UF’s Dec. 17 against Memphis at the Jimmy V Classic in New York City.
“That’s not going to happen,” Donovan said.
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