Houston transfer Joseph Young’s case to play immediately at his new school Oregon is as complicated and confusing as any that I’ve come across.
Let’s start at the beginning.
Young, a Houston native that played in the powerhouse Yates HS program, originally signed a Letter of Intent to play at Providence, but eight months after doing so, his father, a former member of the Phi Slamma Jamma Houston teams, was hired by James Dickey as an assistant coach with the Cougars. Between that and an aunt that was sick, Young decided that he no longer wanted to be a Friar, but Providence wasn’t having it and refused to release him from his NLI.
He filed an appeal with National Letter of Intent Policy and Review Committee, but the appeal was denied in August, meaning that Young would have to sit out a season and lose a year of eligibility to go to Houston. He did anyway, but caught a break a few months later when Young was given a fourth year of eligibility back. The only stipulation was that Young would have just four seasons to use up those four years of eligibility.
Things got mucked up at Houston when Young’s father, Michael Young, was reassigned. He would no longer be the Director of Basketball Operations for the Cougars, instead taking a job in a community service role in the athletic department. Joseph didn’t want to play in a program where his father had been demoted, so he transferred out.
Now, there are a couple of reasons why this move by the younger Young has gotten complicated. For starters, if he isn’t granted the waiver, Young will not be able to use all four years of his eligibility. That wouldn’t necessarily be a deciding factor for the NCAA, except that the situation with his father appears to be murkier than previously thought. Michael Young filed a lawsuit against the University of Houston last week that essentially says that he was fired from his job, but that he was given a no-show job where he would still be getting paid as long as his son was on the team.
“So that Michael will not be part of a fraud for one second,” attorney Reginald McKamie said. “We want the contract rescinded from the outset so there is no doubt in anybody’s mind that Michael has not engaged in any fraud of the NCAA rules or defrauding Texas taxpayers of any money.”
Why would someone turn down a no-show job where they’re still getting paid? Why would Young go public with a potential NCAA violation in an industry where snitching is the worst thing that you can do?
Is it as simple as trying to get his son that waiver?
Trey Zeigler got a waiver to leave from the NCAA to play at Pitt immediately because his father was fired by Central Michigan. But Michael Young wasn’t fired, he was reassigned, which could have put that waiver in jeopardy. Getting the contract rescinded would force Houston to acknowledge that he was fired, which would help Joseph’s case.
And can you imagine a situation where the NCAA wouldn’t grant a waiver to a transfer when his old school tried to commit an NCAA violation to keep the player happy? As John Infante points out here, hiring Michael Young to this alleged no-show job would probably be a violation.
Oregon is still going to have to play the waiting game for Joseph, who averaged 18.0 points and shot 42.5% from three last season, to see if he gets that waiver.
But thanks to an impressive ability to navigate the NCAA rulebook, it’s looking more likely that Oregon will have themselves a new guard for next season.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.