I thought I knew David Carter pretty well.
I did one feature on him, and talked to him regularly during my five-year stint of covering Wolf Pack basketball when he was Mark Fox’s top assistant.
His latest actions left me stunned.
One of Carter’s top players, Cole Huff, wants to leave Nevada. Huff said he wanted to play closer to home. That may be part of the reason, but there is always more to the story. Huff played a lot of power forward at times even though he is more of a small forward or maybe even big guard.
There is no doubt in my mind that Huff can find a home somewhere on the West Coast, but Nevada is making it difficult. Nevada is preventing him from transferring to any Mountain West, Pac-12 and West Coast Conference school, and any West Coast school on Nevada’s 2014-15 schedule.
NCAA rules say Huff would have to sit out a year anyway. If he chose to go to a school on the “blacklist,” he would have to pay his own way for a year before being put on scholarship, and he possibly might have to sit out more than one year.
Isn’t that a little excessive? Shouldn’t there be a rule how how many schools a student-athlete can be limited to?
I certainly can see Carter blocking a move to another Mountain West school. That’s a no-brainer. I can even see blocking a move to any school that already has a contract to play Nevada in the next two years, when Huff still has eligibility.
Huff is appealing Nevada’s decision, and I hope the parties can come up with some sort of compromise.
I can see Nevada’s point to a degree. Carter has invested a lot of time in Huff as a student-athlete, but clearly in Huff’s case the marriage isn’t working for him.
Huff isn’t the only athlete this has happened to. According to Geoff Grammer, a highly respected writer from The Albuquerque Journal, Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy blocked departing quqaarterback Wes Lunt from attending nearly 40 schools, or 30 percent of Division I football schools in the NCAA. Lunt ended up at llinois.
I remember when Bobby Cremins left Georgia Tech, and Paul Hewitt was hired to replace him. Hewitt made some headlines during the NCAA tournament that year (Nevada lost to Tech in the Sweet 16) when he decided to let a player who had signed with Cremins out of his scholarship. Hewitt’s theory was that he didn’t want a player there who didn’t want to be there.
I applauded the move then and still think that IF a kid hasn’t stepped foot on campus to play a game and a coaching move is made, that kid should be released from his scholarship as long as he doesn’t go to a school in the same conference.
The NCAA will always tell you that you shouldn’t pick a school based on the coach. Wo are they kidding? What are they drinking in Indianapolis?
It’s the coach selling the kid on his program and the university.
It’s only common sense.