bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Kansas State prevents player from transferring after coach is fired

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There are many ridiculous rules involving college sports, and I have laid some of them out here in this space in the past. The one thing that seems pretty clear is that the rules are rarely for the benefit of the “student-athlete.” Just about everything the NCAA does these days is coming under heavy scrutiny, and with good reason. One area that should be closely examined is the way transfers are handled for these kids.

Leticia Romero, a basketball player from Kansas State, wants to transfer and play somewhere else. She played for the Wildcats for just one season after signing with the school as an extremely heavily recruited player out of a secondary school in Spain. Her reason for wanting to leave seems quite valid to me, though, and it is that Deb Patterson, the coach that recruited her to come play there, was fired. After she learned a bit about the new coach and the style of play he encouraged, she decided that it would be best for her career if she played elsewhere. Seems reasonable, right? The silly NCAA rules say that any transfer must first sit out a full year before he or she becomes eligible to play again. Beyond that, if the school being left behind does not agree to the transfer, then the player is also ineligible to receive a scholarship for that next season. That is what is happening here.

Does this make any sense whatsoever? Despite all of the talk that recruits should choose a school for the school itself, not for the coach, many high school kids are clearly going to be attracted to a successful and charismatic coach. Sure, the player should be comfortable with the school, as he or she has to spend several years there, but the coach is going to have a huge impact as well. A coach can leave at any time to jump to another school with no penalty. In fact, that coach might well be paid very handsomely to do so. The player, though, has to essentially pay a huge price to do the same, even if she is simply trying to follow her coach. That seems so completely unfair. The fact that the school can then prevent the kid from getting a scholarship, even though the decision to leave has already been made, is simply outrageous. How can that decision be made out of anything other than simple spite? What reason would an athletic director have to force a kid to pay her own way for a year because she decided it would be better for her future if she played elsewhere?

I have not spent enough time on this issue to come up with all of the possible ramifications of allowing completely free transfers for all student-athletes. There may be some valid reasons to make this at least slightly difficult. What is happening to Leticia Romero, though, is just outrageous. I hate that the NCAA, which demonstrates every day that it is outdated and ridiculous, allows this to occur. Romero gave Kansas State a great season for the scholarship she received. She owes them nothing, and for them to hold her hostage is spiteful and wrong.

Bad sports, continued:

2) Bryce Jordan, aside from being a former president of Penn State and the namesake of the basketball arena on campus, is also the name of a high school baseball player from Louisiana. He is now the record holder for the most times being hit by a pitch in a season after he was hit for the 30th time last week. The previous record stood for 49 years.

3) Someone somehow thought it would be a good idea to ask Twitter users to send questions to ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike Show to be asked of NCAA president Mark Emmert during his appearance on the show on Friday. The #AskEmmert hashtag was immediately inundated with some very funny and certainly very nasty and sarcastic questions for him. Good. It’s a shame the hosts refused to actually read any of those questions on the air.

4) Joel Queeneville, the head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks, was fined $25,000 after he grabbed his crotch and screamed at officials during his team’s playoff game against the St. Louis Blues on Thursday. Classy.

5) Things got very ugly for the bullpen of the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday. Leading 5-3 in the eighth inning, three of the team’s relievers proceeded to allow six runs to score despite only giving up one single hit. There were also eight walks and three wild pitches involved. Crazy.

6) Not to be outdone by their Canadian brethren, the Los Angeles Angels put on quite a display of their own on Sunday, committing three errors on a single play to allow Ian Kinsler to score from first base on what was actually a ball-four pitch. Ugly.

7) Seeing his team get crushed by Baylor last season has not made Steve Edmond, a linebacker for the University of Texas, respect the Bears any more than he did before. Asked about that loss, he ended his comments with “I think they’re trash.”

8) I am not a fan of brawls in sports. I guess the Milwaukee Brewers and Pittsburgh Pirates have a different opinion. The two teams fought on the field during their game on Sunday after an argument due to a bit of showmanship at the plate by Carlos Gomez of Milwaukee.

9) Two weeks ago, shortstop Alex Gonzalez started the opener for the Detroit Tigers. On Sunday, he was released. Yes, he was hitting just .167, but that is a pretty dramatic fall from grace.

Good sports:

OK, maybe there weren’t any this week. Sorry about that.

Bad sports, good sports appears early each week

Alan Spoll is a software quality assurance director from the suburbs of Philadelphia where he lives with his wonderful wife and children. He has spent his entire life as a passionate fan of the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, Flyers, and Penn State. Recent Phillies success aside, you will understand his natural negativity. Follow me on Twitter - @DocAlan02
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