Had he not been forced to retire from basketball by knee problems, Delvon Roe would be getting ready to suit up for Michigan State one last time at home. The Spartans' Senior Day is on Sunday, and an outright Big Ten title will be on the line with Ohio State coming to East Lansing.
Since retiring, Roe has turned all of his focus to his acting career. However, Michigan State is hoping that on Sunday, for one final time, Roe will be able to suit up and make one last appearance as a player for the Spartans. The problem is that there are NCAA eligibility rules preventing this from happening.
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said Friday he wanted retired forward Delvon Roe to play against Ohio State in a nostalgic return to the court on Senior Day, but the school has determined that NCAA eligibility rules will not allow for Roe to dress for the game.
According to Diamond Leung, Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis has been talking with the NCAA about getting Roe a "special pardon" that would allow him to dress. Also according to Leung, Roe still actually has a locker at Michigan State and Izzo wants to be able to briefly play him to give him a proper sendoff.
There's no telling what the NCAA will decide to do, but ESPN's Jay Bilas brought up a very good point about this situation:
So, Wisconsin can play a pro baseball player at QB, but wrong for MSU to play injured cager and actor on senior night? bit.ly/AvKgGs— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) March 1, 2012
This seems like another "classic NCAA" rule. Play professional baseball? No problem, you can come back and play football at a new school for one season. Retire from basketball because of knee issues and want to make one final appearance on what would have been your Senior Day? Sorry, that's an issue because you're an actor now.
In response to the ridiculousness of this rule, a #LetDelvonPlay movement has begun on Twitter. It remains to be seen if it will change anybody's mind at the NCAA or if the waiver will be granted, but the blowback at the NCAA certainly can't hurt. There is no harm in letting Roe make one final appearance with the Spartans, so let's hope that the NCAA wises up and allows him to do so.