AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

Could NCAA eliminate transfer redshirts? What happens to college sports if they do?

2 Comments

The NCAA is currently facing a lawsuit from a pair of ex-college football players who are, more or less, suing the association to eliminate the requirement for college athletes to sit out for a year should they decide to transfer.

In other words, should Steve Berman, the lead attorney for the two former football players, win the case that he’s brought to court, any transfer in any sport would be immediately eligible. According to ESPN, the NCAA has moved to dismiss the case.

If the case isn’t dismissed, and Berman eventually wins in federal court, the ramifications would be … well, they would certainly be interesting.

     RELATED: There is no transfer epidemic

It’s something that a lot of people — myself included — have spent a lot of words and energy arguing for. It’s something that I believe is the right thing to have in place since we’re talking about unpaid, amateur student-athletes. A tuba player doesn’t have to sit out from the band if he wants to leave LSU and go to Alabama. An engineering student doesn’t have to taken history classes if he decides to leave Bucknell and head to Villanova. If the NCAA wants to ensure that college athletes have a real college experience, then they should be allowed to leave whenever and enroll wherever their grades allow them to enroll.

You’ll never convince me otherwise.

And I’m well aware of what this would mean for college athletics.

It would be a free-for-all, especially if students are allowed to transfer and be eligible immediately after the first semester.

In hoops, the tampering would be out of control, even more than it is now. The first two weeks of December would turn into a trading deadline. Don’t have enough interior depth? Go find a couple 7-footers. Need to bolster your perimeter shooting? There are plenty of guys at lower levels that can knock down jump shots. Need some insight into what Kentucky is doing offensively? Offer one of their walk-ons a scholarship.

That transfer window would not only help to serve the power conference teams in filling holes, but it would bring the kind of intrigue and speculation to college hoops that we never see before the end of conference season.

RELATED: Transfers expose the worst of the coaching community

Or what about this idea (which was tweeted to me by a reader, and which I love): High-major teams form an alliance with a mid-major program to work as something of a minor league team. Let’s say Coach K gets Jon Scheyer hired as the head coach at UNC-Greensboro. Scheyer would run the same offense and the same defense as Duke, so that the two programs would be able to make the necessary transfers after the fall semester. Duke has a freshman that can’t get any burn? Send him to UNCG to play 30 minutes a night. UNCG has a senior wing that defends and is shooting 40 percent from three? Send him up to Durham to play a role for the Blue Devils.

It would be even crazier in football.

Let’s say, for example, that LSU somehow plays their way into the College Football Playoff despite the fact that their quarterback play would be more effective if I was running the show. How much do you think someone like Josh Rosen would be offered to transfer to LSU for the spring semester before transferring back to UCLA next fall?

It would be insane.

The distrust among the coaching community regarding tampering would reach a fever pitch, if it hasn’t already.

Would it change the way that college athletics looks and feels?

Probably.

But as long as the NCAA tournament always has full bracket and as long as it stays in March, people are always going to be watching.

This case will certainly be something to keep an eye on.

High school basketball player collapses, dies at AAU event

Jon Lopez/Nike
2 Comments

James Hampton, a member of Team United and a senior at Liberty Heights, a private high school in Charlotte, collapsed and died during a Nike Elite Youth Basketball League game on Saturday night.

Hampton was 17 years old.

In the second half of a game against Nike Phamily, a Phoenix-based program that is run by the father of Marvin Bagley III, Hampton collapsed to the floor unresponsive. Trainers at the event began CPR on and administered chest compressions. Parademics arrived within 10 minutes, but Hampton could not be revived.

The cause of death has not yet been released, but this is not the first time that Hampton had an issue. Last spring, at an event in the Washington D.C. area, Hampton collapsed on the court and had to be given CPR.

“He just fell down on the floor,” Team United director Jacoby Davis told the Charlotte Observer. “He had seizures a year ago and I remember (one of the Team United coaches) telling me that, ‘I saw his eyes rolling back in his head.’ I ran on the court thinking he was having a seizure. A trainer came over and said he didn’t know what was wrong. Another trainer checked his pulse. He said he didn’t have a pulse. It got crazy after that.”

RIP James Hampton.

Nevada’s Jordan Caroline pulls out of 2018 NBA Draft

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Jordan Caroline has opted to pull his name out of the 2018 NBA Draft as he will return to Nevada for his senior season, he announced on Saturday.

The 6-foot-7 Caroline put together a strong season for the Wolf Pack as he averaged 17.7 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game as Nevada made the Sweet 16 behind one of the most talented offenses in the country.

Caroline’s return is a huge boost for Nevada as they still await the NBA draft decisions of Caleb and Cody Martin.

Currently ranked No. 17 in the NBCSports.com Preseason Top 25 (without the Martin twins), the Wolf Pack will still have a ton of talent around Caroline next season. Five-star freshman center Jordan Brown recently committed to Nevada. The program also a number of talented transfers entering the mix, including Tre’Shawn Thomas, Nisre Zouzoua and Ehab Amin.

If the Martin twins return to school (and that is a big if) then Nevada could have a potentially elite offense next season. But even if the Martin twins go pro, Nevada should still be the favorite in the Mountain West and a threat to once again make the second weekend of the NCAA tournament.

Dewan Huell returning to Miami for junior season

Getty Images
1 Comment

Miami received some positive news on Saturday afternoon as the school announced the return of forward Dewan Huell for his junior season.

After testing the NBA draft waters without an agent, the 6-foot-11 Huell will be back for the Hurricanes. Starting all 32 games for the program last season, Huell averaged 11.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game while shooting 57 percent from the floor.

“After getting feedback from NBA teams and talking it over with my family and coaches, I would like to announce that I will be returning to Miami for my junior season,” Huell said in the release. “I’m really excited to get back to work with my brothers so we can accomplish more than ever during the 2018-19 season.”

A former McDonald’s All-American coming out of high school, Huell’s return gives the Hurricanes stability in the front court for next season as he’ll play with other returning players like Sam Waardenburg and Ebuka Izundu. With Miami losing both Lonnie Walker and Bruce Brown early to the 2018 NBA Draft, Huell could be expected to provide more offensive production as a junior.

Bruce Weber receives contract extension at Kansas State

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Kansas State and head coach Bruce Weber have agreed to a two-year contract extension, according to a release from the school.

After leading the Wildcats to a surprising Elite Eight appearance in March, Weber will be the head coach at Kansas State through the 2022-23 season, which gives him another five seasons to work with. Weber will be paid $2.5 million in 2018-19 and he’ll receive a $100,000 increase to his salary in each remaining contract year.

Weber had already signed a two-year extension in August 2017, but this move gives the veteran head coach more job security (and positive recruiting perception) for the next few seasons.

“We are very fortunate to have not only such an outstanding basketball coach but also a man in Coach Weber who conducts his program with integrity and class and is widely respected across the nation,” Kansas State Director of Athletics Gene Taylor said. “Certainly last season was one of the most memorable postseason runs in our program’s history, and we are excited for next season and the years ahead under Coach Weber’s leadership.”

With Kansas State returning most of its roster from last season, including the return of guard Barry Brown from the 2018 NBA Draft process, expectations are sky-high for Weber and the Wildcats this season. Currently ranked as the No. 8 team in the NBCSports.com Preseason Top 25, Kansas State’s veteran club could give Kansas a serious run for a Big 12 regular season title this season.

Northwestern loses incoming freshman point guard

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Northwestern and incoming freshman point guard Jordan Lathon are parting ways. The 6-foot-4 Lathon was viewed as a potential candidate to replace Bryant McIntosh at lead guard for the Wildcats this season, but Northwestern has reportedly revoked his offer of admission and basketball scholarship.

It is unclear why Lathon was unable to be admitted into Northwestern, but the school’s VP for University Relations, Alan Cubbage, gave a statement to Inside NU’s Davis Rich and Caleb Friedman.

“Northwestern University has revoked its offers of admission and an athletic scholarship for Jordan Lathon, a recruit for the Northwestern men’s basketball team,” the statement said. “Out of respect for the privacy of the student, the University will have no further public comment.”

Lathon later acknowledged the situation in a tweet explaining to fans that he will no longer be attending Northwestern.

While it is unclear why Lathon and Northwestern are parting ways, other high-major programs are already very interested in bringing in Lathon for next season. Oklahoma State immediately jumped in with a scholarship offer. There is also speculation that Lathon, a native of Grandview, Missouri, could also hear from the in-state Tigers as well.

It’ll be interesting to see where Lathon lands, and how this also affects Northwestern’s point guard situation. The loss of a four-year starter like McIntosh will be tough to fill, especially since Lathon was committed to Northwestern since last June. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Wildcats and head coach Chris Collins seek out a veteran point guard graduate transfer to try and get some immediate help.