May 30, 2012, 11:46 PM EDT
Florida coach Billy Donovan is no stranger to transfers. He’s had six players transfer since 2008, some of them talented (Jai Lucas, Allan Chaney), some of them not (Eloy Vargas). Maybe that’s why his comments during the SEC spring meetings sound like a guy who’s been there before.
But they also sound reasonable. Always nice when a college coach has that attitude.
“There are situations because of the recruiting situation is set up that coaches and players make a lot of bad choices,” Donovan said. “I think coaches make bad choices in terms of who they’re recruiting and I think players can make bad choices of schools because there isn’t that intimate relationship that you had a lot of previous years in recruiting, where you could really get to know the kid and the kid could get to know you.”
He didn’t stop there.
“I’ve never been a believer in holding a guy to his scholarship,” Donovan said. “I think you’ve got to give them the opportunity to go wherever they want to go. But, I also know there have been situations where people have been accused of tampering and there have been some people where some recruiting has gone on while a guy has been in school. Those things could potentially happen. I’ve always believed at Florida that when someone leaves you give them the opportunity to go wherever they want.”
This comes after the Gators had Walter Pitchford left the program in April, too. But it doesn’t sound as if Donovan begrudges the move. Maybe that comes from the 16-year coach recognizing players often need to search for what works for them, particularly as they mature. The transfer issues in college hoops aren’t getting solved anytime soon, nor are the transfers just going to stop.
But it’d be nice to chew on Donovan’s remarks and let them permeate the landscape a bit. At this point, anything positive helps.
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