Jim Calhoun: Mass wave of transfers 'is not great for the sport'
Realized that, during his tenure at UConn, he almost never took in transfers (Ed Nelson was one of the few). Yes, it was an entirely different era. But Calhoun doesn't like what's going on with the mass epidemic of transfers in college basketball these days. He stresses that it has nothing to do with the fact that UConn has been as active (and successful) in the transfer market than any program. It's simply not a good thing for the entire sport, Calhoun said, and he wishes rules would be put in to help curb the mass exodus of players.
Here's what Calhoun had to say:
"I'm not a transfer guy. It's a different age, and everybody has to do it, I think. But honestly, overall -- it's got nothing to do with UConn or anybody right now -- it's got to do with the sport. I just don't know ... it's not great for the sport. One-and-done is not particularly great, but a kid comes, is great and leaves, it's understandable."
Calhoun said about 44 percent of all players transfer these days.
"I saw the kid from Rhode Island (Kuran Iverson) just got eligible, because he and the coach didn't get along. I know there are more extenuating circumstances ... I don't think everybody's against that kind of thing. There are questions: Bringing the 3-point line out, widening the lane, putting the arc in there and, quite frankly, the one-and-done's and, at the other end, we've got to make sure that, if you transfer, you've got to sit out. I think that would change a lot of people's mind about things. Yet, if I'm sitting in that seat today, and I'm thinking about the fact that I've got to fill roster spots, I've got to fill them. So, it's not UConn, it's not anybody. It's not Fred Hoiberg at Iowa State. Our team might be close to 50 percent this year -- (Sam) Cassell, (Rodney) Purvis, the three other kids ... I will embrace those kids. I think I met the (Sterling) Gibbs kid when we were recruiting him, actually .I've met the (Shonn) Miller kid and (Terry) Larrier -- I'll welcome to the Husky family and hope that they're accepted well, and so on. But the more and more I get a chance to go different places nationally, it will affect the game."
(can you understand why Kevin Ollie would be bringing these guys in?)
"You mention Kevin, I'm not mentioning Kevin. You take it that way, then it's Coach Calhoun is knocking UConn. Of course I"m not doing that. I said, if Jim Calhoun was sitting at this seat today, and recruiting hadn't gone quite as well as I wanted to and could get two fifth-year, all-league players? No-brainer."
"The backdraft of this is that there are coaches from other teams that just had players taken away from them. How would you like to have some of our players taken away? In all honesty, I'm not (helping) Kevin Willard here, but they're pretty good players he's losing. We could look at anybody -- the Mississippi State kid, (Rodney) Hood at Duke. It's not Kevin, if you mix that up, you're trying to make something that's not there. What it is is, I think a developing problem in college athletics and college basketball."