MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — The rollercoaster offseason for the West Virginia basketball team got even weirder yesterday when transfer guard Jose Perez was told that he is no longer a part of the team due to “academic issues.”
These issues, it turns out, has to do with Perez not attending mandatory study hall. In an article by Trilly Donovan on his website Burner Ball, it was stated that “the issues began Wednesday when Perez and one other student-athlete missed a study hall appointment. Perez was absent from practice and away from the team the rest of the week. Disagreements over academic arrangements spilled into the weekend, with the conflict between Eilert and Perez escalating beyond repair.”
Perez confirmed that report in a statement on social media, saying, “(I’m) 25 years year old in undergrad classes after I graduated. I never accepted being put into undergrad classes but people wanted me eligible. The only disagreement was going to study hall and that’s where the decision was made, nowhere else.”
In a public statement released on social media, West Virginia head coach Josh Eilert simply said, “We wish Jose the best in his future endeavors.”
And the wild and crazy run for Jose Perez in Morgantown was officially over. We reached out to Jose Perez for comment and he would only say, “Hey man, thanks for reaching out. Just got a lot going on, something is not even adding up. I won’t comment anymore, bro, just crazy.”
From what we can gather from various sources close to the team, Perez was given multiple chances and opportunities to do the right thing. Although he denies any wrongdoing, it’s extremely unlikely that Josh Eilert would remove him from the team without serious issues being involved, particularly when Eilert and his staff are coaching for their jobs this season. Losing Perez, a probable starter, is a huge hit for the Mountaineers and it’s clear that West Virginia exhausted all options to keep him on the team.
Perez entered the transfer portal, flirted with the idea of going elsewhere, was re-recruited by Eilert and was reportedly given a big NIL deal to return. He eventually returned, but I’ve been told that his inability to follow team rules after being given numerous chances was the last straw. Perez was a team leader in the locker room and helped recruit many of the players on the team to West Virginia, so his loss won’t just be felt on the court. But to say that he was “thrown to the street like a dead animal” just isn’t accurate. He was given large sums of money, provided with every resource possible to help him succeed and he was unable to follow through.
I’m sorry to hear that Perez feels lost and that he is in a state of depression now. He has had dificult and unique college experience and has faced a lot of turmoil and challenges along the way, but it appears that West Virginia University and the Mountaineers’ coaching staff did everything in their power to help him be successful.
— The Voice of Morgantown (@voicemorgantown) October 1, 2023