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Sandi Marcius, Matt Painter and an ugly transfer

Apr 23, 2013, 12:46 PM EDT

Brandon Ubel, Sandi Marcius AP

Sandi Marcius is probably wishing that he thought his decision to try and earn a graduate transfer waiver through a bit more.

After Purdue’s season ended, Marcius announced that he would be leaving the Purdue basketball program in search of greener pastures. The 6-foot-11 redshirt junior had an up-and-down career in West Lafayette, but he played his best basketball down the stretch of the 2012-2013 season. It was obvious, however, that head coach Matt Painter was far from pleased about Marcius’ decision to leave in the official statement he made when the release was put out:

“We have invested four years and significant resources into helping Sandi develop from both an educational and athletic standpoint,” he said in a release. “Certainly, having Sandi here for a fifth year was in our plans and we anticipated him having a great final year in our program.”

Things have gotten worse between the two. There are reports that Painter banned Marcius from the team’s postseason banquet, and now Painter and Purdue are refusing to pay for Marcius’ summer school.

That’s right, Marcius announced that he would be leaving Purdue without making sure that he would actually be able to graduate in time to receive a graduate transfer exception. He still has a couple classes he needs to take this summer. Those classes could cost him upwards of $7,000. Purdue’s not paying it. So who is?

Well, Marcius could fork over the money himself. Or he could take out a loan. Or, obviously, he could decide to stay at Purdue instead of leave the program.

John Infante of the ByLaw Blow asks an interesting question today, as he wonders whether or not the program that Marcius eventually transfers into could refund Purdue for the money that they spend on Marcius’ summer school classes. A transfer fee, if you will. There’s a lot that would have to go on behind the scenes for that to happen, however. From Infante:

There would need to be a significant element of trust between the parties. Donors cannot earmark a donation for a specific student-athlete, and to get the NCAA to sign off on this scheme the destination school would not want if they could. So either Purdue has to enroll Marcius trusting that the second school will reimburse them or the money has to be sent trusting Purdue will enroll Marcius in the classes. And Marcius has to trust both schools to work this out.

But this could be a massive Pandora’s box that the NCAA may not want to open. The graduate transfer exception is the most visible benefit a school could get from paying another college for an athlete’s summer school. But it could also be used to get an athlete eligible before a transfer so he can receive a scholarship at the new institution. And all sorts of mischief could be had at in the junior college ranks.

The bottom line is this: Purdue is under no obligation to pay for Marcius’ summer school classes. Marcius is hoping that Painter will crack under the public pressure in the same way that Bo Ryan cracked under the public pressure when Jarrod Uthoff tried to transfer out of Wisconsin last summer.

I don’t think that’s going to work here.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

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