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Rockets basketball team given extra scholarship

  • Womens-basketball

    University of Toledo guard Naama Shafir cheers from the bench Thursday, 01/19/12, at Savage Arena in Toledo, Ohio. Shafir will return next season.

    <The Blade/Jeremy Wadsworth
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    University of Toledo guard Naama Shafir cheers from the bench during a game this season. Shafir will return next season, but UT was given a scholarship waiver to cover her fifth season.

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SPT-UTW20p-1

University of Toledo guard Naama Shafir cheers from the bench during a game this season. Shafir will return next season, but UT was given a scholarship waiver to cover her fifth season.

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The NCAA has granted the University of Toledo a waiver allowing the women's basketball team to exceed the maximum number of scholarship players for next season.

This is welcome news for the Rockets, who found themselves in a bind when senior Naama Shafir opted to return for a fifth season after suffering a season-ending ACL tear in November. Her return, combined with the arrivals of three freshmen, puts UT at 16 scholarship players — one more than the NCAA allows. As payback, the NCAA is taking away one scholarship from UT for the 2013-14 season.

Had the outcome gone differently, UT would've been forced to cut a scholarship player.

"We're thrilled with the news of this waiver because we could not control the situation nor did we want to take away an opportunity from any of our players," UT coach Tricia Cullop said. "This is fantastic news. We're really excited for next season."

"We were optimistic we would receive this waiver, so we've been recruiting with that intention in mind," she said.

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