Not cool, DePaul

McDunkin's picture
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Not cool, DePaul

"Yours truly has spent a decent portion of this offseason having a good whinge about college basketball's inherent inequalities. Those complaints have been spurred on by the transfer stories of Justin Knox and Murphy Holloway, players who had their No. 1 transfer destinations blocked by their current institutions for slightly arbitrary reasons.

There's also the practice of oversigning and running off, wherein coaches effectively revoke benchwarmers' scholarships in order to make way for more skilled incoming recruits.

To be fair, there have also been super happy fun time stories to be found in the past few months too, whether it's Rhode Island freeing Kyle Cain from his commitment or the NCAA allowing former Binghamton transfer Kraidon Woods to forgo his transfer eligibility year this season.

But the overriding principle still stands: Once players sign a national letter of intent to play basketball at a collegiate institution, they forgo any semblance of efficacy they had in the route their careers will take throughout college. If they want to leave, the school can say no. If the school says yes, it can put conditions on the agreement. If players want to stay, their coach can run them off.

Those coaches, meanwhile, are free to take as many jobs -- and make as much money, which, let's not even go down that road -- as they like. Nothing about this system seems particularly fair.

Which brings us to our latest, and perhaps most egregious, example: The story of DePaul recruit Walter Pitchford, which ESPNChicago's Scott Powers reported last night. Pitchford is a 6-foot-10 recruit who signed with former DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright, who has since resigned. He was eventually replaced by former Clemson coach Oliver Purnell. Pitchford decided that he didn't want to stick with his NLI and play for the new coach, which is something a decent portion of players caught in coaching transitions tend to decide.

DePaul's response? Not so fast, son. You're going to stay:

"Despite recent media reports of Walter Pitchford being released from the National Letter of Intent he signed in November 2009, DePaul University is committed to Walter and is looking forward to him joining the program for the 2010-11 season," the statement said. "Walter showed nothing but enthusiasm to attend DePaul University throughout the recruiting process and since he signed the NLI to join the men's basketball program. At this time, the athletics department does not intend to grant the release, and has notified the NLI Steering Committee as its provisions require."

FastAndFurious's picture
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That aint right man

That aint right man

sheltwon3's picture
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That is dead wrong man.

That is dead wrong man. College basketball is so crooked and that is another reason why a lot of player be like let me jump ship. You can always go back to college and the ones that don't never wanted to go to college in the first place.

joecheck88's picture
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ya, i have always said that

ya, i have always said that players hsould attend college for 2 years before they can go pro, but that gets hard to defend when college basketball programs can screw these kids(the ones that put their careers on the line and make all the money) but everyone else controls them and makes the money. i have heard about this before and its not right. its not right they have to sit out a year for transfer, and its not right coaches can come and go whenever. let the kids make choices that will affect their futures without punishment. make coaches have atleast 4 year commitments and let the kids transfer withouut having to lose a year. and finally let kids go to the nba from high school if they want(not a college rule but with rules like these the nba should do the right thing because the ncaa wont)

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r u kidding

what about the money he made for his freshman year. if they knew he would stay one year they would of never given him 30,000+ of college money. kids who transfer screw colleges and coaches outta jobs. plus he would be getting a better coach anyways. and what about all the incentives money he prolly got to go there. its not like the coach or school can be like you need to pay that back now

midwestbbscout's picture
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walter pitchford

I wouldnt want him to leave either he is awesome lol....

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