The NCAA informed Villanova on Monday that women’s basketball player Jannah Tucker will be granted an extra semester of eligibility that will allow Tucker to play the complete 2018-19 season.
Tucker’s five-year NCAA clock was supposed to run out after next season’s fall semester, but the school argued that extraordinary circumstances — a domestic-abuse situation involving Tucker’s boyfriend that amounted to a hostage situation — kept her from playing as a freshman.
In an interview, Tucker had described how her boyfriend had kept her from reporting to the University of Tennessee for weeks. Tucker ultimately transferred to Villanova and played the last two seasons.
“I was very surprised to find out this quickly,’’ Tucker said in an interview Monday in the Villanova women’s basketball office. “I think we just submitted it a couple of weeks ago. I’ve never heard of a waiver getting appealed that quickly. I was very grateful. I know a lot of people were in my corner for it and a lot of people pushed for it.”
Asked her level of excitement of having a full season still to play, Tucker said, “Twelve out of 10.”
Villanova made it to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2013 and beat South Dakota State before losing to top-seeded Notre Dame. Tucker had finished the season strong, making six three-pointers for 20 points against South Dakota State, adding 19 points against Notre Dame.
“It’s a great thing for my team, too,’’ Tucker said. “It’s always hard when you don’t know. And if I did play half [a season], it would be extremely hard to say, ‘All right guys, see ya.’ Now it’s a whole different team dynamic. Taking one person out really affects the entire team. Now we can all kind of settle, and get really excited again.”