Jarrod Uthoff's transfer seemed harmless enough. The forward from Cedar Rapids, Iowa spent one season in Madison as a redshirt but then decided that Wisconsin wasn't were he wanted to be, for whatever reason. So what's the problem? Bo Ryan's decision to ban Uthoff from being able to play scholarship basketball at over 20 universities is becoming a public relations nightmare for the Wisconsin program.
Uthoff's restricted list of schools is as follows: the entire Big Ten, Marquette, the entire ACC, and Iowa State. The first 12 restrictions are reasonable, but the rest are questionable. Though Iowa State is a hotspot for transfers, the Badgers never play the Cyclones. And the Big Ten/ACC Challenge is a weak basis for disallowing Uthoff from heading to the ACC.
The only reason we know about this restrictions list is because Uthoff told the media about it. With it being a quiet time of year for college basketball, many of the college hoops pundits have picked up on this story and most of them think that Ryan has gone too far with the restrictions. While the media will eventually move on from the story, this situation will probably be used by other schools to recruit against Wisconsin. Bo Ryan is a very competitive man and probably didn't want to see Uthoff burn the Badgers on the court, but it seems Uthoff might end up burning Wisconsin off the court.
A few other random thoughts on the Uthoff situation:
- How badly did Uthoff not want to play for Wisconsin anymore? He sacrificed an entire year of eligibility by leaving. Leads me to think there's more to it than that he 'didn't fit in UW's system.'
- If I was in Jarrod's shoes and I really wanted to screw with Bo, I would say I want to transfer to Milwaukee or Green Bay. With what has already happened, that would really put Wisconsin in an impossible situation.
- If somehow Uthoff and Ryan end up on the same basketball court on different sidelines in the future, that postgame handshake would be must-watch television.
- Was it poor form for Uthoff to whine to the media about the restrictions? Not in my opinion. If nothing else, he shed light on a questionable NCAA policy that probably needs to be looked at.
- Eliminating all future opponents from being transfer possibilities is just absurd. If Uthoff were to play against the Badgers and drop 40 points, that really wouldn't make UW look that bad. After all, it was Uthoff who wanted to leave, it's not like Wisconsin traded him for draft picks.
With so many new coaches in the fray, Bret Bielema had to move back the start of spring practice by a week and a half so that the coaching staff could get on the same page.
Jarrod Uthoff's first visit as he looks for a new school will be Creighton. The Bluejays finished this past season with a loss to UNC in the Round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament.
A roundtable of writers discuss what Wisconsin most needs to work on in spring practice.
Former Wisconsin long snapper Kyle Wojta is keeping an online journal as he tries to work his way onto a NFL roster this spring. He also recently got married. Hope to see you on a NFL roster soon, Kyle.