Simmons cleared to play at Seton Hall

Just two days after Alabama had a change of heart on a transfer waiver, Daisha Simmons was cleared by the NCAA to immediately play basketball at Seton Hall.

Seton Hall coach Tony Bozzella announced the decision on the graduate student on Thursday, adding: "I never thought it would drag on this long."

Simmons' ability to play immediately was held up by Alabama's refusal to support a waiver that would have granted the guard the chance to compete this year. The school changed its mind Tuesday and wrote a letter of support to the NCAA for Simmons, whose New Jersey family is battling health issues.

"I know in my heart it was the right thing that was done here," Bozzella said in a conference call late in the afternoon.

Simmons graduated Alabama in the spring and will be pursuing a master's degree at Seton Hall.

The New Jersey native says that illnesses in her immediate family contributed to her desire to transfer to Seton Hall. She wants to finish her collegiate career this season.

Her older brother, Chaz, has kidney disease. Her mother has health issues, as well, and works two jobs to support the family.

While she maintains that she is not bitter, Simmons was upset that she had to air her reasons for leaving Alabama in public. She is still considering legal actions against Alabama.

"It was way out of my comfort zone," Simmons said of going public with her case. "I was extremely upset. I did not want it to get this far. Whether they were upset how the situation went, I think it could have been settled long before it got to this point. Now my personal business and my family's business is out there, and that's unfair."

Bozzella was surprised how quickly the situation worked itself out this week. Alabama released a statement early in the week, defending its actions and saying the matter seemed closed.

It all changed a day later.

"Daisha is a great player and an outstanding young lady," Bozzella said. "I know it was important for her to be close to home. ... I am extremely grateful the University of Alabama and the NCAA considered Daisha's best interests while coming to this decision."

Had the NCAA not approved the waiver, Simmons would have had to sit out this season.

Simmons has one season of eligibility left. She was Alabama's second-leading scorer last season, averaging 13.8 points a game and added 5.4 rebounds per contest while starting 29 of the team's 30 games