Courtesy of MCT
Many Ohio State fans already disliked Wisconsin men’s basketball coach Bo Ryan. Ryan gave more fuel to the fire Thursday, and made life for a student-athlete unnecessarily difficult as well.
Ryan was unpopular among OSU faithful because of comments he made after the Buckeyes’ 67-71 loss at Wisconsin, Feb. 12, 2011. Ryan replied, “Deal with it,” when asked about then-freshman forward Jared Sullinger’s complaint of fan rudeness in Wisconsin.
Ryan made headlines last week when he disallowed freshman Jarrod Uthoff from transferring to several schools. This list included all Big Ten schools, all ACC schools, Florida, Iowa State and Marquette.
The move to block a player from transferring to where he wants lowered some people’s opinion of Ryan. He made matters worse Thursday when he appeared on ESPN Radio’s “Mike and Mike.”
While sharing his side of the story on the popular radio program, Ryan became defensive. He attacked both hosts, Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg, said the idea to block schools came at the advice of other coaches and said a scholarship is like a contract.
Greenberg pointed out a scholarship, unlike a contract a coach might have, is for a student-athlete. The player, who is still only a student, must sit out a year if he decides to transfer. Greenberg also said coaches can leave one school for another without much of a penalty.
Ryan’s answer to why he blocked Uthoff from transferring to his school of choice: Because he can. Several times Ryan said that as a coach, he reserves the right to block a player from going to certain schools. That doesn’t mean he has to.
Ryan said he was confused as to why Uthoff wanted to transfer. Players usually transfer because they aren’t getting as much playing time as they would like. Uthoff sat the entire 2011-2012 season and was redshirted.
I believe Ryan is now blocking Uthoff for one simple reason: because he can. He said he’s not being spiteful, but it’s nonetheless a move I don’t appreciate.
If a player wants out, he should be allowed to do what is best for him. OSU just allowed sophomore forward J.D. Weatherspoon and sophomore guard Jordan Sibert to do what is best for them and transfer.
OSU basketball coach Thad Matta had a similar block on Weatherspoon and Sibert. Matta disallowed the pair to transfer to any Big Ten schools, OSU spokesman Dan Wallenberg told The Lantern Monday.
Ryan, in his interview with “Mike and Mike,” said it’s standard practice to block other schools in the same conference and big teams the school might play in the next few years in non-conference play. Ryan blocked additional schools, in addition to the list of non-conference opponents and Big Ten teams.
I find it ironic that Wisconsin’s last two football quarterbacks, Danny O’Brien and Russell Wilson, are each transfers.
Ryan’s block was lifted after officials from Wisconsin met with Uthoff Thursday afternoon, according to ESPN.com. However, the decision upheld disallowing Uthoff to transfer to any of the schools in the Big Ten.
Ryan did nothing wrong as far as rules go in this process, but I think he made everyone’s life much more difficult for no reason at all.