Minnesota’s Banham Can Return in 2015-16

Gopher star and senior guard Rachel Banham tore her ACL and is done for the year. As we’d expect, the traditional media is baffled by what this means in terms of a potential hardship waiver. Some are saying they don’t know, others are providing incorrect information.

A favorite is from Kare11.com, who says, “Players that lose more than 30% of a season due to injury can be awarded that and an extra season of play.” That’s not even close to true.

We’ll step in and help.

There are several requirements for a medical hardship waiver. The one at question – for some – is the 30% rule. A player can participate in up to 30% of a team’s games and still be eligible for a hardship waiver (and they must also meet all the other requirements, of course).

Not only are there are nuances as to what is counted as a “game” in the calculation, but the math used per the NCAA Bylaws isn’t an example you’re going to see used in the classrooms of America. Due to time constraints, we’ll explain this one fairly quickly: Minnesota has 30 regular season games scheduled. In addition, they have the Big Ten tournament.

By rule, a conference tournament counts as one game. Thus, the denominator in the calculation is 31.
31 games multiplied by 30% is 9.3 games. By NCAA rule, this is rounded up 10. That is, the maximum number of games a Gopher can play in and still be considered to meet the “no more than 30%” requirement is 10 games.

Banham has played in 10 games.

Accordingly, we see no mystery here. Based on NCAA Bylaws and the nature of the injury, Banham’s hardship waiver request would be a simple administrative task.

Had the injury occurred one game later, she would not have met the requirements. “Timing is everything.”

For those with additional questions regarding hardship waiver requirements, please email us at latenighthoops@latenighthoops.com.

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