NCAA grants hardship waiver for Butler’s Joey Brunk, gives him extra year of eligibility

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Butler sophomore Joey Brunk at Bulldogs practice. (October 19, 2017 WXIN)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Butler’s Joey Brunk will get an extra year of eligibility, the NCAA announced Wednesday.

The NCAA granted Brunk a hardship waiver. He appeared in seven games last season for the Bulldogs but didn’t play after Dec. 10. He spent the time caring for his father, Joe Brunk, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Joe Brunk died in April at the age of 56. His son played an exhibition game against Hanover in October, which was a special moment because “Big Joe” was a two-time NAIA All-American at Hanover in the late 70s and early 80s. Joe Brunk’s number 50 was retired and he has a plaque in the gym hallway.

The 6’11” Indiana All-Star from Southport applied for a redshirt last season because of his father’s illness. The NCAA’s decision means Brunk is a freshman in eligibility, joining Butler’s first-year recruits.

At Southport, Brunk helped the Cardinals capture their first regional title since 1990. He was a finalist for IndyStar Mr. Basketball and ranked among the top 100 high school basketball players in the nation.

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