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September 30, 2013

Carter gains immediate eligibility

Junior guard Eli Carter learned Monday that the NCAA has granted his waiver to play immediately for the Florida Gators.

"We are happy to have Eli available to play this season," head coach Billy Donovan said in a one-sentence school release.

Carter, a member of the 2011 recruiting class who spent his last two seasons playing for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, decided to transfer to Florida following the scandal involving then-Rutgers head coach Mike Rice.

He averaged 14.9 points in 28.8 minutes per game for the Scarlet Knights during his sophomore season but gruesomely fractured his right fibula in a game against DePaul on Feb. 16.

Carter has not yet been medically cleared by play by the Gators' doctors and trainers.

Linking up with Florida, Carter joins team that lost 36.7 points per game from a season ago. Kenny Boynton and Mike Rosario, a pair of senior guards that combined to average 24.5 points per contest, graduated in May and left a big scoring hole in UF's backcourt.

Carter will be asked to help fill the void left by Boynton and Rosario but must first be physically cleared to play. He was initially expected to begin running again in June but the school has not provided an update on his health since he enrolled.

Carter scored 20 or more points eight times during the 2012-13 season before going down with his injury. On Dec. 29, 2011, he posted 31 points on 12-of-24 shooting as he helped lead Rutgers to a two-overtime 85-83 upset victory over Florida in Piscataway, NJ.

The coaching staff will spend time working on his consistency, however, as Carter hit just 38 percent of his shots and 32 percent of his three-pointers during his sophomore campaign.

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