The Kansas City Star has a piece on transfers in college basketball and what is derogatorily referred to as “poaching.” Southern Illinois coach Barry Hinson, a former assistant at Kansas and former head coach at Missouri State, is featured prominently.
I’ll let my two year old translate.
WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH. INK. (That last one stands for drink, I’m assuming Hinson is thirsty).
Seriously, it would be hard to write a spoof as ridiculous as the complaints and facts lodged in this piece. Hinson blames it on an “instant gratification society.” Bill Self hates the graduate transfer rule while it is noted he has added Tarik Black. More likely, the key driving force behind transfers is coaches, from the frequent free agency there changing the circumstances for kids with one year scholarships, to the coaches being the ones responsible for going after transfers.
Every player prominently mentioned in the article either was dealing with a new coach at their old school, graduated with a college degree (presumably so they could go pro in something other than sports), or both.
According to the piece, more than 400 basketball players transfer each year. Of those 16 this season were identified by Sports Illustrated as going to clearly better programs (moving up from low to mid-major or mid to major conference). Sixteen. An epidemic, right?
I haven’t looked at the transfer specifics, but I’m guessing the number of transfers precipitated by coaches forcing out players they don’t want anymore makes that number look minuscule. Just looking over some major programs, that will surely be the case. There is an epidemic, but it’s not caused by a handful of graduating players fulfilling the mission of being in school moving up.
[photo via USA Today Sports Images]