David Collette’s transfer saga has reached a conclusion.
The former Utah State forward will be enrolling at Utah for the start of the spring semester, sitting out until mid-December 2016, when he will finish his remaining two seasons of eligibility. Collette averaged 12.8 points and 5.0 boards for the Aggies last season.
But there is more to this story than just a simple transfer. Collette quit the Utah State team two days before the season began. The Utah State staff was none too pleased about his decision, alleging another school of tampering with Collette and urging him to leave the program. They didn’t release him, meaning that Collette will have to pay his own way for a year while he sits out.
“I think there were a lot of factors in play that, unfortunately, have become a trend in college basketball of schools poaching other schools’ players,” Utah State head coach Tim Duryea said at the time. “I don’t feel good and don’t like how things transpired.”
I’m torn on how to feel in this situation.
On the one hand, I’m totally and 100 percent against the idea that coaches can block the transfer of amateur student-athletes. They are already forced to sit out for a year when they decide to transfer, and you’re going to give the kid’s former coach the power to take away his scholarship at a new school, too? I’m totally opposed to that as a rule and I think that any coach willing to block a transfer is spiteful and just looking to get revenge.
That said, Collette quit on his team days before the start of the season and then eventually transferred to the USU’s high-major, in-state rival. Duryea clearly believes that there was tampering involved, and Collette’s landing spot doesn’t exactly disprove that theory. In other words, Collette’s not exactly the most sympathetic victim in this scenario.
I hate what Duryea is doing and I hate that he is allowed to do it. But in this instance, I’m not sure that I would do any different.