However, according to the announcement, a medical exclusion was decided following discussions with team doctors and trainers. Jones will continue studying toward her degree at Iowa without a financial disruption, but her scholarship will no longer count against the Hawkeyes’ ledger coming forward.

Previously maxed out at 15 scholarships for next season, Iowa can now dive back into the transfer portal if it wishes. The Hawkeyes poked around with Arkansas transfer Maryam Dauda last month before she chose South Carolina, causing many to wonder how the Hawkeyes planned to manage the scholarship situation if it happened. Iowa would’ve certainly had to get inventive with a NIL contract to accomplish so.

Now, the Hawkeyes have a clear position open while continuing to uphold their promise to Jones amid a tragic scenario.

Tennessee Volunteers, James Pearce

“I would like to start by stating how grateful I am to have been a member of the Iowa women’s basketball program, Jones stated in a release. “I am tremendously grateful to have been a part of the trip last season.

“It is with tremendous sadness to say that I am medically retiring from college basketball. My coaches, physicians, teammates and trainers have been fantastic since the accident. While I will no longer be a member of the women’s basketball program, I will still be on scholarship, obtain a world-class education and forever remain a Hawkeye. I’d like to thank my family for the never-ending support, and I am excited for the next chapter in my life.

Tennessee Volunteers Star James Pearce Named As Possible Number One Pick of 2025 NFL Draft

Tennessee Volunteers, James Pearce

Even at this stage in time, teams are looking at how Pearce will perform as a professional. In a story for CBS Sports, Chris Trapasso detailed why the Volunteers star has a shot to go number one.

“In his first full season in the SEC, all Pearce did was create a quarterback pressure on 21.1% of his opportunities, a seismic number regardless of age or experience.

That could be the entire write-up on Pearce, and it’d be worthwhile for top-pick consideration. But it’ll bring context. Pearce reached that huge amount not on a plethora of tricks or at a low volume. It was 52 pressures on 246 pass-rushing opportunities. Sure, teams would undoubtedly like to see that rep figure climb to somewhere in the 300 or 400 level in 2024, and it likely will for the 6-5, 245-pounder.

Pearce appears to have long limbs and showcased like 50 pass-rush moves on his route to SEC quarterbacks a season ago. He was the No. 18 edge-rushing recruit in the nation in 2022 and only turns 21 years old in October. Sure, there’s a chance Pearce’s pass-rushing efficiency decreases in 2024.

Based on what he put on display last year, there’s also a chance he hovers near the same pressure-creation rate while adding more power to his game. If that happens, and we don’t receive any out-of-this-world year-long performances from a quarterback, he’ll be the odds-on favorite to go No. 1 overall in the 2025 draft. He’s that talented with All-Pro upside,” Trapasso wrote.

Unlike other prospects, Pearce’ biggest claim to fame is his defense and scouts have clearly noted that. As it stands, the New England Patriots, Carolina Panthers, and Denver Broncos are anticipated to be the top three teams to get the number one choice in next year’s draft.

Tennessee Volunteers, Joshua Josephs
It remains to be seen how Pearce will shape up when that time comes. In any case, a lot of teams will be monitoring him to see his progress until next year.