Iowa's Brady Ellingson gets good news from NCAA

Chad Leistikow
Iowa's Brady Ellingson looks for an open teammate during the Hawkeyes' game against Maryland-Baltimore County at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014.  David Scrivner / Iowa City Press-Citizen

NORTH LIBERTY, Ia. -- Brady Ellingson confirmed Thursday night some very good news for Iowa basketball: He has received clearance for a medical redshirt despite playing in seven games last season as a true freshman.

Ellingson said he recently learned about the NCAA's approval for his appeal for a medical hardship after he battled for months with a nagging foot injury. That means he's still got four years of college eligibility remaining.

"A huge relief," he said after scoring 22 points in his team's Prime Time League game at the North Liberty Community Center.

The 6-foot-4 Sussex, Wis., native – who came to Iowa with the reputation as a sharpshooter – had two main factors in his favor for an NCAA appeal. He played in less than 30 percent of his team's games and didn't play in the second half of the season (his last game was Dec. 30 vs. Ohio State, Iowa's 14th game out of 34 on the year).

Still, the redshirt was far from certain since medical reports of his injury had to be viewed as legitimate, according to Iowa coach Fran McCaffery. Ellingson had foot surgery over the summer, then re-injured it in the fall.

Ellingson played 32 minutes and made four baskets, all 3-pointers, for the Hawkeyes.

"There's always a little doubt, because I did play," Ellingson said. "I'm glad it went through."

Ellingson said his foot felt 100 percent by February, but at that point the decision had been made to shut him down for the season.

"It was hard (sitting out), but I had confidence in my teammates," Ellingson said. "In some games they weren't hitting shots. It was definitely a good learning experience for me to see how the guys worked and what it took to be at that level."