The NCAA has approved the waiver submitted by Minnesota to restore Rashod Bateman’s eligibility, clearing the way for him to compete with the Golden Gophers in the upcoming fall 2020 season. The former First-Team All-Big Ten wide receiver initially opted out on Aug. 4, but later reversed that decision once the Big Ten decided to reinstate the fall season due to the availability of daily antigen testing, among other COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
Agent 0 checking in. Thanks to everyone who made this possible, Let’s ROW ❤️ pic.twitter.com/3VCdHSMKCR— Rashod Bateman (@R_bateman2) September 30, 2020
Having signed with an agent, Bateman needed to re-enroll in classes at Minnesota and pay back any he benefits received after his opt-out in order to regain his eligibility. He had previously been granted a waiver by the NCAA to at least practice with the team.
Now that he has been cleared to return, Bateman bolsters a Minnesota wide receiver corps that was facing the prospect of having to replace both him and Tyler Johnson. Bateman had a spectacular sophomore season with the Gophers, recording 60 receptions for 1,219 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. He was named All-Big Ten First Team and awarded the distinction of the Big Ten’s Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year. Bateman holds the program’s single-season sophomore records for receiving yards (1,219) and receiving touchdowns (11), and the single-season freshman records for receptions (51) and receiving yards (704).
Bateman is not the first Big Ten player to be cleared to return after reversing his decision to opt out. Ohio State’s Wyatt Davis and Shaun Wade, Michigan’s Jalen Mayfield, and Purdue’s Rondale Moore have all returned to compete for their respective programs.