Bo Ryan finally broke his silence regarding his decision to restrict the schools that can recruit redshirt transfer Jarrod Uthoff, who is trying to transfer out of the program.
And you know what? Bo proved all of us wrong, just not in the way that he intended. We all thought that he had barred Uthoff from contacting 25 schools. The actual number is 26. Florida was added because Wisconsin plays the Gators in a home-and-home starting next season.
Where else did Ryan go wrong when talking with ESPN.com?:
– “There are rules of a scholarship. I didn’t make them up. … This is something that all coaches do. I didn’t make the rules. I’m just following them,” Ryan said, and he’s right. There are rules to a scholarship, and none of them have anything to do with banning a player from transferring to 26 different schools. Even the Big Ten has changed their rules and now allow athletes to transfer within the conference and remain on scholarship. What rule is he referring to?
– And as far as this being “something that all coaches do”, well, that’s just said. Grown men in public and powerful positions should not be this bitter and resentful over the decision of a teenager.
– Ryan said that he blocked the entire ACC because there is a 1-in-12 chance that if Uthoff ended up at an ACC school — Virginia showed him interest when he announced his intention to transfer — they would play the Badgers in the ACC/Big Ten Invitational. Seriously. Ryan is more concerned with that 1-in-12 chance than he is with ensuring that Uthoff lands someplace he can succeed. Why, again, would any parent want to send their kid to play at Wisconsin?
It’s hard to imagine, but Ryan comes out looking even worse now that he has spoken.
Look, if Ryan wants to ban Uthoff from going to any Big Ten school, I get it. It’s unfair. Very unfair. But it’s understandable. The same with banning Marquette. The Golden Eagles are Wisconsin’s arch-rival. They play every year in a game that carries just as much bragging rights as any rivalry in the country. Again, it’s an unfair rule that Ryan is allowed to make this decision for Uthoff, but I understand the sentiment.
But the entire ACC? Iowa State? Florida?
That is all spite. It’s all because Ryan is an angry, bitter man that got burned by a player that didn’t like the way he fit in with the Wisconsin program. As Jeff Goodman put it, Ryan is “beyond angered”. Beyond petty fits as well.
Jamie Johnson, Uthoff’s AAU coach, said, “I hope cooler heads prevail.”
I simply hope Ryan grows up. Trying to make Uthoff’s life miserable isn’t going to do any good for his program.
Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.