Following Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan’s appearance on ESPN’s “Mike and Mike” radio program on Thursday morning, it’s easy to see why much wasn’t heard from Saint Joseph’s head coach Phil Martelli during the Todd O’Brien saga.
Ryan went on the show in attempt to defend the limiting of options for freshman forward Jarrod Uthoff, who decided to transfer after realizing during his redshirt campaign that his skills wouldn’t mesh with Ryan’s system.
To say the least it did not go well in the court of public opinion, with many disagreeing with Ryan’s stance on the blocking of possible destinations for Uthoff.
“I don’t know how to deal with transfers like some other guys who do it a heck of a lot more often so here’s what I did: I called some coaches and I said, ‘guys, what do you do when a situation comes up like this?’, said Ryan.
“Every coach that I talked to said, ‘coach, you block the conference and then any schools, especially if you’re in a major conference, if there are any [major conference] schools around in a contiguous area.”
That last bit would explain the reasoning behind the blocking of Iowa State and Marquette, and with the Badgers playing Marquette annually that should come as no surprise.
But what about the block placed on the entire ACC? Well that’s where things got a little ugly, with the Big Ten/ACC Challenge being the crutch used by Ryan.
“Over the next 3-4 years we’re going to play different teams in the ACC,” said Ryan when addressing this. “You have to tell the administrator why you want to go to a particular school in the ACC.”
Should there be this many restrictions on where Uthoff can go to school and receive a scholarship? No. But the bigger issue here is the fact that a school is allowed to do such a thing to begin with.
Ryan cited “rules” to the scholarship that a player receives but those scholarships are one-year renewable, meaning that the player and school need to sign those papers annually.
Essentially Uthoff doesn’t have much in the way of leverage here, and Wisconsin has taken advantage of that whether they’re willing to admit that or not.
Ryan made the point of saying that he didn’t make the rules, but he did have a choice when it came to taking advantage of them.
Regardless of what the rules allow or what other coaches may have told Ryan in regards to his decision on this matter, it’s a no-win situation for both he and the school.
With his first public comments on Wednesday and the radio interview on Thursday, Bo Ryan didn’t look too good in the eyes of many throughout the country.
And that could be all the momentum Jarrod Uthoff needs in order to finally receive a fair release from his scholarship.