WVU point guard Kerr Kriisa will serve 9-game suspension for improper benefits while at Arizona

MORGANTOWN — Josh Eilert’s basketball roster at WVU is no longer a “Who’s That?”

Recently, the Mountaineers have become more of “Who’s Left?”

The latest setback among many came Tuesday, as the school announced that starting point guard Kerr Kriisa was suspended for the first nine games this season after it was discovered he had accepted “impermissible benefits” while playing at Arizona.

Kriisa played at Arizona from 2020-23; one year with Sean Miller and the last two seasons under Tommy Lloyd.

“In late August 2023, West Virginia University learned of a potential eligibility concern for men’s basketball transfer student-athlete Kerr Kriisa, who admitted to receiving impermissible benefits while enrolled at the University of Arizona,” WVU’s statement began. “West Virginia worked cooperatively with the NCAA Student-Athlete Reinstatement Staff to reach an appropriate resolution.”

That resolution was a nine-game suspension, meaning Kerr won’t be eligible to play until the Dec. 16 game against UMass in the Basketball Hall of Fame Classic.

WVU’s statement also said Kriisa will be able to continue to practice and travel with the team.

“He accepts responsibility for his actions at Arizona and looks forward to joining his Mountaineers teammates on the floor,” the statement concluded.

There is no word on what the benefits actually were or when they were accepted. Eilert has a regularly scheduled press conference on Thursday.

As for WVU’s roster, depending on the status of senior forward Akok Akok, the Mountaineers could be opening the season with just eight scholarship players. The NCAA limit is 13.

Akok, a transfer from Georgetown, collapsed to the floor in last week’s exhibition game against George Mason.

He was rushed to Ruby Memorial Hospital, where he was later stable and responsive. Akok was back home on Monday, but no word has yet been given if he’s able to play.

The team is also waiting to hear a final decision on the eligibility status of guard RaeQuan Battle.

The NCAA recently denied his bid for a waiver. WVU sent its appeal on that decision to the NCAA Committee for Legislative Relief on Monday and is hopeful a final decision won’t take more than a couple of weeks.

In the preseason, Eilert dismissed guard Jose Perez for a violation of team rules and the NCAA also denied guard Omar Silverio a waiver for eligibility, which brought his college career to an end.

WVU also has guard Noah Farrakhan sitting out this season due to NCAA transfer rules.

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