The Indiana High School Athletic Association has granted Michigan commit Austin Hatch an additional year of high school eligibility, just over 14 months after he was the only survivor of a plane crash that killed his father and step-mother, WANE-TV is reporting.
Hatch’s injuries from the crash in June 2011 were so severe that doctors needed to put him in a medically induced coma, but he has since made a remarkable recovery and plans to play basketball for Canterbury (Ind.) this upcoming season and, with this waiver, next year as well.
The waiver, which is unique if not unprecedented, ultimately grants Hatch the equivalent of a “redshirt year” for the season he missed recovering from the crash.
Hatch now reclassifies to 2014 and instead of signing with Michigan this fall, will do so in the fall of 2014.
Prior to the accident, he averaged over 23 points and nine rebounds per game as a sophomore. He reportedly chose Michigan over Notre Dame and Virginia.
According to WANE-TV, Michigan has pledged to honor Hatch’s scholarship offer, regardless of the upcoming circumstances, meaning he will be a Wolverine for the start of the 2014-15 season.
Michigan finished this past season with an overall record of 24-10, including 13-5 in the Big Ten. The Wolverines’ season came to an end with a loss to Ohio in the NCAA tournament.