The Temple basketball team got some unexpected good news late Wednesday afternoon.
Forward Dan Dingle had his medical hardship waiver approved and will have three years of eligibility remaining.
"I'm very excited," Dingle said with a wide smile after Thursday's practice. "I didn't know whether it was going to happen or not."
Dingle, a 6-foot-7 sophomore, tore his meniscus going after a loose ball in practice back on Dec. 29. He had already played in 10 of Temple's 30 regular season games to that point, putting him above the threshold to receive a redshirt.
But the American Athletic Conference reviewed his case and granted him a waiver.
"These kids' windows are so narrow," head coach Fran Dunphy said. "You have a season where you play, seemingly, the full amount of games that they will determine is a full season, and then they gave us this year back for him. … I'm very happy he'll get that extra season."
Since Dingle suffered the injury, there's been some question about whether or not he would qualify. Typically, once a player competes in 30 percent of his team's games, he ceases to be eligible.
"I had some hopes," Dingle added. "I talked to a lot of compliance [officials] trying to figure out if it was possible. At first, I had a little bit of doubt."
Still, there are gray areas surrounding in-season and postseason tournaments, which evidently helped Dingle's case.
"You always apply, and you never know," Dunphy said. "They talked about the fact we had played the extra game in the [conference] tournament. Got him over the hump."
A four-star recruit out of St. Raymond's High School in the Bronx, Dingle was averaging 6.7 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists prior to his injury but was beginning to show signs of tapping into his potential. In the two games immediately prior to getting hurt, he scored a combined 25 points on 10 for 15 shooting with nine assists and four blocks.
Perhaps more important, the Owls were 5-5 overall in 10 games with Dingle. An already-thin roster then went 4-17 without him.
He spent the rest of the season in a shirt and tie watching games from the bench, as his teammates unfortunately set a new Temple record for losses in a season with 22.
"It was tough," he said. "We had a rough season. I don't know what we finished, nine and 20-well, I don't know. But it was a tough year, going out there and watching us lose everyday. But we competed, so I wasn't that mad."
Dingle spent Thursday off to the side of the practice floor doing rehab. He said he'll be allowed to resume basketball activities some time in early May. Until then, he'll keep working on the knee and hitting the weight room.
"We had testing yesterday, and I hit 300 [pounds] for once," he said. "I couldn't lift 150 when I got here, so I'm getting stronger."
That's good news for Dunphy, who will rely on Dingle to play a power forward role similar to what Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson did in the past.
Following Anthony Lee's transfer, Dingle is one of five members of the Temple frontcourt, including returners Devontae Watson and Mark Williams, transfer Jaylen Bond, and incoming freshman Obi Enechionyia.
"It gives me a chance to compete again on the court," Dingle said, referring to the waiver. "Even though I was going to compete next year as a junior, just having that in my head that next year I get an extra year to play basketball and further my education, I'm very happy."