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The Tennessee baseball program is currently dealing with uncertainty regarding the eligibility of transfer shortstop Maui Ahuna. Currently, the Kansas transfer is not eligible to play for the Vols, according to a UT spokesperson.
No. 3 Tennessee started its season this past Friday, with a loss to Arizona. That was followed by its second loss to Grand Canyon. Now, without its projected starting shortstop, questions are being asked about his eligibility by the NCAA. Before its game on Friday, Tennessee was notified that Maui would not be eligible to play, even though the school has been working on the situation for awhile.
The Vols finished off the weekend with a 7-0 win over UC San Diego.
Tony Vitello Says The Professionals Are Handling Eligibility Matter, After Home Win
Following Tennessee’s first home game of the season on Tuesday night, head coach Tony Vitello was asked if he had an update on the status of Maui Ahuna.
“No, I don’t have a specific update. Professionals from different entities are working on it, which makes me feel as good as I can and hopefully him as good about it. People that are way more professional than me and a lot of people that are looking out for the kid’s sole interests. So, hopefully an update soon, but I don’t have something specific now.”
As for how Ahuna is handling the situation, Vitello mentioned that he’s dealing with it like a champ. Something that might get lost during this ordeal is how long the process has been playing out, which dates back to when Maui first enrolled at Tennessee
“Like a champ, I almost cusssed. Like a dang champ, he’s been really good about getting extra work in here (Batting Cages) and on the field, because he knows he’s not going to be burning a lot of calories out there,” Vitello mentioned about Ahuna’s attitude.
“I thought his family handled it about as well as they could too this past weekend. I don’t know if that’s right for me to speak on, maybe if you guys talk to him,”Vitello added about his family. “He’s kinda got something else going on to with family stuff. It would be nice if everybody got healthy and then we could go forward and continue enjoying being around him.”
Maui Ahuna Was A Big Get
Ahuna committed to Tennessee in June of 2022, after his visit to Knoxville. The school had to self-report a violation of NCAA rules after he was approved for a flight to Tennessee before the school received his transcript. This resulted in the school being hit with a Level III violation, which usually results in small penalties.
Even though he was not named in the document, Knox News confirmed that Ahuna was the player connected to the violation.
Maui was the 4th-rated transfer entering the 2023 season, according to D1Baseball. Ahuna decided to transfer from the Jayhawks after long-time coach Ritch Price retired following the 2022 season. In his absence during the three-game stretch in Arizona, Austen Jaslove played shortstop for the Vols.
Kansas Statement On Transfer
The discussion of Maui Ahuna’s eligibility led OutKick to reach out to Kansas regarding the matter, in regards to a possible holdup on its end. Kansas released the following statement to OutKick on Monday evening:
“Kansas Athletics has timely complied with all requests and all information has been submitted to the necessary parties.”Kansas Athletics
According to Kansas, they’ve done everything needed in regards to the ongoing eligibility issue of Maui Ahuna, including transcripts or any questions regarding his transfer.
Tennessee plays Alabama A&M on Tuesday evening, so the Vols continue to wait.
There is more to this story, so stay tuned to OutKick for the latest.