Juwan Howard: Michigan to submit Chaundee Brown's waiver request 'soon'
Those hoping for a verdict on Michigan transfer Chaundee Brown’s eligibility for the upcoming season will have to wait a little longer.
During a Zoom call with reporters Wednesday, coach Juwan Howard said Michigan is in the process of submitting Brown's waiver to the NCAA “very soon.”
When asked to clarify if that meant Brown’s waiver request will be sent to the NCAA soon or if Michigan is expecting to hear back from the NCAA soon, Howard reiterated it was the former.
“That's all I can give you right now,” Howard said.
Brown’s status and whether he’ll be allowed to suit up is one of the biggest remaining roster questions that has yet to be answered.
Brown spent his first three seasons at Wake Forest before he entered the transfer portal on April 15 — 10 days before the Demon Deacons fired head coach Danny Manning. He committed to Michigan on May 19 and has one season of eligibility remaining.
Barring a waiver, Brown would have to sit out the 2020-21 season due to transfer rules. However, waivers for immediate eligibility have been granted throughout the country because of the coronavirus pandemic, a lengthy list that includes former Wolverines David DeJulius and Colin Castleton, who transferred to Cincinnati and Florida, respectively, this offseason.
After Brown's addition was made official on June 24, the program announced it was "assessing the potential for a NCAA waiver."
Brown said he planned to file a wavier request after announcing his commitment to Michigan, adding he “wouldn’t be mad” if it’s not granted.
"I just have to do what I’m going to do. But I’m pretty much 100% sure that I’ll get the waiver, so I’m not too concerned,” Brown said at the time.
Due to a combination of roster attrition and recruiting misses, the Wolverines have a need for Brown in the backcourt this season. At 6-foot-5 and 205 pounds, he would provide valuable depth, experience and versatility at the two and three positions.
He would also likely see significant minutes and have a chance to crack the starting lineup after averaging 10.4 points and 4.7 rebounds as a three-year starter at Wake Forest.
“He has an amazing personality, fun to be around. He's a worker, so that's great,” Howard said. “He's also a competitor and I think he's shown that playing in the ACC for three years. He fits the Michigan culture. He checks all the boxes.”
Schedule in flux
With the start of the season just seven weeks away, Michigan still doesn’t have a schedule in place.
The NCAA announced last month that men’s basketball teams can begin playing games on Nov. 25, with a minimum of 13 and maximum of 27 contests during the regular season. A minimum of four nonconference games was also recommended, but that number is influenced by the number of conference games.
The Big Ten has played 20 league games each of the past two seasons but has yet to settle on a number for this year.
“There still are a lot of unknowns,” said Howard, who participates in Zoom calls with his fellow Big Ten head coaches twice a week.
“You hear the talks of, 'Will it be 22 Big Ten games (this season)? Will it be 20? Will it be 24?' They haven't finalized it yet, so it's really hard to come out and say what your nonconference schedule is going to look like — if there’s even going to be any nonconference.”
Michigan is set to open the season with the Empire Classic, a nonconference tournament that is reportedly being moved from New York’s Madison Square Garden to the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Multiple national outlets reported this week the Wolverines had withdrawn from the multi-team event, which included Baylor and Villanova, and were replaced by Arizona State. However, Howard didn’t confirm that Michigan had pulled out.
"We're still looking at a lot of the details on how the tournament will be conducted from a health and safety standpoint,” Howard said. “My goal and No. 1 objective here is to make sure that each and every one of our players, coaches and staff — their health and safety is No. 1 before any game is played."
Howard added a variety of scheduling options are being considered, including the possibility of Michigan hosting a multi-team event on campus in Ann Arbor.
"It's a lot of moving parts. There's a lot of new information that is changing daily and sometimes the information changes six to 20 times a day,” he said. “We're trying to do whatever is best to make sure that we chose whatever — if we play in an MTE or if we host our own MTE — that the health and safety is No. 1.
“I'm not in the position at this moment to say what our plans are. We're still working on some things and hopefully we'll have some news to share (in the near future).”