TUSCALOOSA The University of Alabama received word Wednesday afternoon that senior center Jermareo Davidson has been cleared to play and re-join the Alabama team, beginning Friday. The NCAA has a waiver where it allows student-athletes who have endured tragic circumstances to withdraw from school for that semester and return to their teams and schools for the next semester.
“We have received official word that Jermareo has been cleared to play and is eligible,” said Alabama head coach Mark Gottfried. “I think our compliance staff here at Alabama did a great job working with the Southeastern Conference in getting it done in such a timely manner. We’re excited that that’s behind us. I know Jermareo is eager to get on with it.”
Davidson has not practiced with the team since withdrawing from school on December 8. He will be able to return to practice and the team on Friday when Alabama travels to Mobile to play Southern Miss in Saturday night’s Coors Classic. Davidson’s brother was critically injured on November 7, and five days later his girlfriend died as a result of an automobile accident. His brother remains in the hospital.
“It feels good to have some stress off my back, not having to worry about classes and be able to focus on other things,” said Davidson who leads the Southeastern Conference in rebounding and is averaging 14.9 points and 10.6 rebounds this season in the seven games he’s played. “It’s been a rough month for me and this kind of relieves some of the stress for me. I appreciate Coach Gottfried and our compliance office helping me with this. Now, until classes start in January, I can focus on basketball, and I think that’s a big relief.”
Before withdrawing from the fall semester classes, Davidson was on track to graduate within the year. Davidson is an All-SEC player and a John R. Wooden All-American candidate.