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Jarrod Uthoff finally shares his side of the story

Apr 22, 2012, 4:45 PM EDT

Bo Ryan

As bad as Bo Ryan looked when he initially made the decision to restrict Jarrod Uthoff from transferring to 26 schools and as foolish as he looked when he went on ‘Mike and Mike’, his story and his reasoning, while unfair, was at least plausible.

The reason he put all those restrictions on Uthoff was because he wanted the former Wisconsin Badger to speak to him about what happened, about what had changed between the time he had committed to Wisconsin and the moment he finally decided he was leaving. Given that Ryan has since released Uthoff to any school outside of the Big Ten, it plants the seeds of doubt: maybe this really was Ryan’s plan all along?

Well, if you listen to what Uthoff said about it, you may disagree.

“The thing is, if he wanted me to explain that, he could have just called me into his office to explain it to him,” Uthoff told Jesse Temple of FOXSportsWisconsin. “He didn’t have to restrict the schools. If he wanted me to explain why I wanted to go to all the schools that he was going to restrict, all he would have had to do was call me into his office, and I would be more than willing to go into his office.

“He was my coach for a year. I thought we had a pretty good relationship. I would have been more than willing to come into his office and explain why I would want to go to each school. So I’m not really sure about that. If he blocked the schools, then I would have to explain it to the AD and the sports administrator — not him. If he wanted the rationale, he could have just called me into his office.”

There’s more. From FOXSportsWisconsin:

“I had been thinking about it and made a decision when I hadn’t had a chance to see him,” Uthoff said. “I wanted to do this in person.”

When he called Ryan with a decision April 9, he hoped it would speed up the transfer process to look at other schools. The spring signing period for high school seniors began April 11.

“The longer you wait, the less opportunities you have because there’s always people committing and signing,” Uthoff said. “I wanted to make a decision to wherever I transfer by the summer.”

Uthoff, who met with assistant coach Gary Close in the following days, said he thought he would hear from Ryan on Saturday, April 14. But he was surprised to learn that he was granted his transfer release on Thursday, April 12 via email from an athletic department member, without speaking to Ryan. He was further surprised that the email contained a list of 26 schools restricted by Ryan: the entire Big Ten and ACC, plus Iowa State, Marquette and Florida.

Uthoff is scheduled to visit Creighton on Monday.

Would anyone else find it incredibly ironic if, after all of this drama, Uthoff ends up transferring to a school that wasn’t even on his restricted list?

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

  1. burrellfan1 - Apr 22, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    It is hard to believe anything that Jarrod Uthoff is saying. Why would Ryan have to contact Uthoff to come to his office? If he had a good relationship with Coach Ryan, you would think Ryan’s door would have been open up to him at any time. Plus, if he had a good relationship with Coach Ryan and the university in general, why did he tell Ryan his decision to transfer when Ryan was on vacation and why did Uthoff not deliver his appeal letter in person to the university instead of getting a friend to do it for him.

    Why did Uthoff even accept a scholarship to Wisconsin in the first place if his reason for transferring is that he decided the style of offense at Wisconsin is not a good fit for him. Ryan has been at Wisconsin for a while. Uthoff should have known how Ryan likes to play before making a decision on what school to attend.

  2. advantageschneider - Apr 23, 2012 at 12:10 AM

    Story seems to have changed quite a bit from the original.

    “I’ve thought about it for several months,” he said. “When I went in to talk to Coach Ryan (this past week) is when I finally decided.”

    Uthoff declined to disclose details of his meeting with Ryan, saying it was a confidential conversation. He also met with Wisconsin assistant coach Gary Close, who recruited Uthoff for the Badgers.

  3. kmartinson - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    Why did he call Ryan when he was on vacation—-and he knew he was on vacation? Seems to me that the last thing he wanted to do was talk to him in person. You can’t fault a kid for acting immature but there is obviously more to this story that anyone is stating. He pissed Ryan off and Ryan isn’t used to having kids leave the program. The kid also probably realized he’s going to be riding pine next year because Ryan has upper classmen at his position and there’s no way he’s playing before Dekker.

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