Transfers have become a hot-button issue in college basketball and one of the moves that stirred a lot of controversy this offseason was Andrew White III’s decision to leave Nebraska.
Because of the timing of White’s transfer — and the fact that he has transferred before from Kansas — a lot of college basketball fans, specifically Nebraska fans, painted White in a negative light following the move. But in a revealing interview with Brendan F. Quinn of MLive, White finally gets to explain his side of the story.
According to White, he met with Miles prior to making his decision and expressed concern both in his role on the team and the Huskers’ chances to compete and win in 2016-17. The fallout, he says, turned sour.
“It was interpreted as a slap in the face, as if I was saying I didn’t believe in the program, my teammates or the coaching staff,” White said. “Really, I was just thinking about best-case scenario and worst-case scenario for everybody. I think that’s something a lot of people do.
“When I was expressing those concerns, I thought that being one of the older guys (on the Nebraska team) would kind of put me in a place where I could talk about those things. So I talked to Tim Miles and he expressed his thoughts about me. We’re grown men and we had the right to have some differences in opinion.
“Ultimately, that’s what kind of sparked my decision. I didn’t want to be in a situation where there was a bridge burned and I wouldn’t be able to do what I dreamed of doing. So I thought it was best for both parties to move on in another direction.”
Then things get dicey.
According to White, he wanted a day to tell his former teammates and everybody else about the transfer but the news was leaked and he was instantly portrayed in a negative light because he didn’t get to do anything on his own terms.
“The decision (to transfer) is what it is, but the hostility of it was kind of sparked by Nebraska not giving me the opportunity to make a statement and approach it the way that I wanted to — so that it would have had some sensitivity and something genuine attached to it,” White said to Quinn.
“That’s kind of why it’s been so ugly and there’s been so much heat. So I’m kind of being interpreted as classless and as not caring about anyone, but I don’t think that’s the case.”
White has plenty more to say to Quinn regarding the stigma surrounding two-time transfers and which schools he’s looking at for next season. Since White is a graduate transfer, he’s eligible to play right away and could be a major addition to a team looking for an extra wing scorer.
As for White’s predicament, it sucks that he has to have his name dragged through the mud because he’s making a decision that is best for his basketball future. Nebraska isn’t expected to be a Big Ten contender, Tim Miles is on the hot seat, and White wants a chance to have a successful senior season which could launch him into a pro career.
Going to a program like Syracuse or Michigan State, two of the programs White has visited, would certainly be more beneficial to his basketball future than staying at the sinking ship that is Nebrasketball.