Braeden Anderson walked out of an emotional meeting with Kansas coach Bill Self on Friday afternoon in Lawrence, still trying to figure out how he'd gone from a KU basketball player to a freshman without a school.
Self announced that Anderson will not attend KU this year. Anderson is a partial qualifier, according to he NCAA, which would make him eligible for financial aid but ineligible to play first semester. But according to Big 12 policy, all partial qualifiers must be approved by the league's faculty athletic representatives, and Anderson's case was not.
Anderson says his family can't afford for him to be a walk-on. Therefore, he will not attend KU.
"I have no idea what I'm going to do right now," said Anderson, a native of Okotoks, Alberta, Canada, "I'm thinking about every option that there is out there. I still love the people here at Kansas. They did everything for me they could possibly do. It's a heartbreaking day.
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"Me and Coach were obviously in tears today. We both fought so hard. I'm getting teary-eyed just thinking about all the extra work and hours that were put in. It's a sad day. It's been the biggest tease of my life."
Self and KU academic staff members have spent the months since Anderson committed to Kansas in April trying to get him qualified. Now, he'll have to figure out a new plan.
"I am very disappointed but I know Braeden is even more crushed," Self said in a statement. "He has worked very hard to be in a position to come here. I certainly understand the uniqueness of his academic record coming from Canada. I understand the NCAA ruling and I understand the Big 12 policy that states that the faculty athletic representatives must approve, but I am extremely disappointed in the outcome."
Anderson spent the 2009-10 academic year at Christian Faith Center Academy in Creedmoor, N.C. That was his fourth year in high school after spending his first three years in Canada. He spent a fifth year of high school at Wilbraham and Monson Academy in Wilbraham, Mass.
Now, Anderson will be forced to leave KU.
"I'm broken," he said. "This was my dream. Kansas was it. That's what's sad. I've always taken my schoolwork seriously."
Anderson, a 6-foot-8 forward, would have been in line to compete for playing time behind Thomas Robinson and Jeff Withey.
KU is still waiting on freshmen Ben McLemore and Jamari Traylor to be cleared to participate in basketball activities by the NCAA.