"We are all disappointed with the decision to deny the waiver and especially feel bad for Ahmad and his family," Illinois head coach John Groce said. "Ahmad had a compelling case, returning to his home state to be closer to an ailing grandmother who played an instrumental role in raising him. However, we now have to move forward. Ahmad will focus on preparing our team in practice while also making individual improvement, fueled by the goal of returning to the court in 2014-15."
Groce was hopeful the playmaking Starks, at 5-foot-9, 170-pounds, could provide leadership this season for a team that saw numerous roster changes in the offseason.
Starks averaged 10.4 points and 2.3 assists and shot nearly 40 percent from the 3-point line for the Beavers last season.