That ended quickly.
A day after Michigan was run through the media ringer for the way they were treating graduate transfer Spike Albrecht, head coach John Beilein back-tracked. A quick refresher — Albrecht has spent four seasons at Michigan, graduating with a year of eligibility remaining because he did not play this season due to a recurring and degenerative hip issue.
He does not have a scholarship available to him at Michigan next season. The spot’s been filled, and when Albrecht announced that he wanted to leave as a graduate transfer, Beilein put into place restrictions that banned him from going to any school in the Big Ten.
That set off a firestorm.
The kid graduated, he doesn’t have a scholarship available to him at Michigan and the Wolverines had the gall to block him from going to another Big Ten school? Beilein’s rationale is understandable. He doesn’t want a kid he groomed for four years to transfer to an intra-conference rival. Max Bielfieldt did that last season and he eventually helped Indiana beat Michigan in the regular season and win the conference title. I get it. But it’s also flat out wrong.
And on Friday, Michigan announced that Spike, and fellow transfer Ricky Doyle, would not be restricted anywhere.
“After initially granting a transfer release for Ricky (Doyle) and a fifth-year graduate transfer for Spike (Albrecht) consistent with the established norms regarding intraconference transfers, I am now removing all restrictions regarding their recruitment by other universities,” Beilein said. “While I have concerns about the current transfer policies as well as potential effects to the landscape of collegiate athletics, we should do what is right for Ricky and Spike as they decide to further their education and basketball careers elsewhere.”
The lesson to be learned here?
Anytime transfer restrictions are put into place, coaches are going to be crushed. Don’t even bother putting them in in the first place unless it’s worth the wave of negative publicity.