MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – In his administration update briefing Thursday, West Virginia governor Jim Justice announced that he is intending to write a letter to the NCAA to request that they “reconsider” the denial of fifth year RaeQuan Battle’s transfer waiver.

“From what I understand from the coaches at WVU, this kid needs to play basketball,” Gov. Justice said. “He needs it really bad, and they’re worried about him.”

Gov. Justice is the second West Virginia public official to back Battle after state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey issued a statement Tuesday.

Battle used his penalty-free transfer when he moved from Washington to Montana State two years ago, so he was required to submit a waiver detailing his circumstances to the NCAA in order to be granted immediate eligibility for the 2023-24 season.

After some time waiting, WVU announced Monday that the NCAA denied his waiver. WVU plans to appeal the decision. Interim head coach Josh Eilert said Wednesday that other players in the NCAA with approved waivers generally found more success in the appeals process than they did upon their original claim.

“I am still very optimistic they’re going to do right by him…I’m never going to leave his side,” he said.

Eilert and WVU athletics’ staff met Wednesday afternoon to discuss their plan going forward as it relates to Battle, and there is no timetable for the NCAA’s decision on his appeal.

“We want him to play here, and he loves being here, and absolutely, I’ll do everything I possibly can to, at least, try to get them to reconsider their decision,” Gov. Justice said.