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The Miseducation of Bo Ryan

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Talk about double standards. Bo Ryan, head coach of the Wisconsin Badgers, barred redshirt freshman Jarrod Uthoff from transferring to all schools in the Big10, ACC, and a couple other colleges in other conferences. Chalk this one up as another NCAA rule that makes no sense- coaches are allowed to block their scholarship players from transferring to any university of their choice (keep in mind that transfer students must redshirt for another season regardless; another ridiculous NCAA rule).

Ryan admitted that the rules aren’t completely fair, “I didn’t make the rules. I’m just following them.” Yet, “when asked why a player should be prevented from moving to a school of his choice when a coach can freely move within a conference like Tubby Smith did from Georgia to Kentucky in the SEC, Ryan said that it’s a professional contract and there are buyouts and penalties. “There are rules of a scholarship,” Ryan said. “I didn’t make them up.”

It’s about time coaches finally started following the rules, right?!  Give me a break- this is an abuse of the rules of the highest degree. I guess Ryan never heard about the 5th book of Jewish law; the law of derekh eretz, of acting fairly and honorably. Instead selfishness and arrogance have ruled the day. This is a unique example of when following the rules is wrong. As FDR once said, “rules are not necessarily sacred, principles are.” And as our rabbis tell us in Ethics of the Fathers, without derech eretz there aren’t rules (Torah) and without the rules (Torah) there isn’t derech eretz. In other words, in order live an honorable life there must be a healthy balance of both.

Bo, you can’t have one without the other. While following the rules is commendable, ignoring the spirit of the rules is contemptible.  I think parents of high-school athletes will be turned off by your behavior. How sad.


Posted in College Basketball.

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