Jay Bilas is known for being one of the most outspoken advocates for student-athlete rights in all of college sports. When he tweets about something, it matters. He was recently voted the fifth-most powerful man in college basketball in a poll of coaches within the sport.
And Illinois State’s head coach, Dan Muller, is going at him. Hard:
Mostly, I’m posting this because I think it’s funny.
And I think that it takes a serious set of stones for Muller to tweet this. It’s not because Bilas is intimidating or out for retribution — I know Jay, he’s a genuinely nice person and has twice been on the CBT podcast — but because it’s not that often that you’ll see a head coach coming for a critic like this.
What brought this issue to a head was Bilas’ take on transfers. He wrote this column for ESPN.com and spent much of the day battling with people on twitter regarding what he believes to be an unfair rule: Mandatory redshirt years for transfers.
You see, Muller has been done in by transfers in his time with the Redbirds. Coming off of a year where ISU won a share of the Missouri Valley title — but missed out on the NCAA tournament — Muller lost what would have been his two leading returning scorers as graduate transfers, MiKyle McIntosh and Deontae Hawkins. That was his starting front line. Now, he’s looking at trying to defend that league title with two guys that he built his program around.
I get his frustration.
I’d be frustrated, too.
That said, Muller was in the mix for a number of head coaching jobs this offseason.
Those transfers hurt, no question about it.
Would he still be complaining about Bilas defending those players’ right to transfer if he had been hired by, say, Illinois or Missouri?