With the hiring of Kelvin Sampson as head coach, taking over for James Dickey, there’s optimism surrounding the Houston basketball program. Two of the players many hoped would help usher in a new era of Houston basketball are forward TaShawn Thomas and guard Danuel House, with the tandem being the Cougars’ leading scorers in 2013-14.
However neither has any interest in remaining at the school, with both making the decision that they want to transfer to another institution.
The problem for House and Thomas: their initial requests to be released from their respective scholarships was denied by the school, meaning that both will need to go through the appeal process in order to gain a release.
In a story written by Joseph Duarte of the Houston Chronicle, House had the following to say regarding the matter:
“They let transfers come in, they let one of my teammates get his release without any process or denial,” said House, who averaged 13.6 points this season and was Conference USA’s Freshman of the Year in 2013. “But when I asked for mine they denied my request. I felt that was unfair. Our university always speaks highly of integrity but they didn’t show any integrity to me. It’s like a hostage situation.”
According to the story guard Jaaron Simmons was allowed to leave the program without any complications last week, something that has both players understandably frustrated by the situation. Now House and Thomas will meet with a school committee and explain why they should receive a release, in hopes of providing a convincing enough argument (in the eyes of the committee).
Situations like this are no-win situations for the program. While there’s always the desire to hang onto talented players, denying them the right to be released from their scholarship and look for a better situation results in negative publicity more times than not.
Should House and Thomas win their respective appeals they’d be two of the best available transfers, with the latter being one of the best front court players in the American Athletic Conference in 2013-14.