NCAA Violations

Wisconsin Basketball Coach Imposes Abnormally Large Transfer Ban on Student-Athlete

The following article was written by Spencer Wingate.

Jarrod Uthoff arrived to the University of Wisconsin in 2011 fresh off winning Iowa’s Mr. Basketball Award. In his first year in Madison, he failed to play or accumulate any stats. Following the season, Uthoff requested to transfer as he did not believe the offense was a good fit for him. Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan initially informed the 6-foot-8 forward that all the Big Ten schools were restricted as viable transfer options. The restriction was not surprising due to the Big Ten’s policy of making it difficult for athletes to transfer within the conference. However, Ryan added Iowa State and Marquette to the restricted list as well.

After the University of Virginia requested to contact Uthoff, Ryan barred him from transferring to not only the Cavaliers, but any other ACC school. This left the restricted list at a staggering twenty five different colleges; twelve in the ACC, ten in the Big Ten, along with Iowa State and Marquette.

If Wisconsin decided, they could hypothetically add any or all Division I schools they want to the list. As Uthoff hopes to transfer to another NCAA four-year school, the coach of the program must have Ryan’s permission before they can contact him. After permission is given, coaches can make phone contact once a week has passed. Colleges that do not have permission are not supposed to contact Uthoff directly. He would be ineligible for a scholarship if he transferred to a banned school. To appeal the restrictions, Uthoff must contact the University of Wisconsin Compliance Office- the same office that Ryan was able to levy the ban. If the restrictions are upheld by the university, Uthoff would have to appeal to the NCAA.

Ryan is not actually breaking any NCAA rules in the situation. Barring Uthoff from transferring to a school in the same conference is not hard to understand. Similarly, Marquette’s (392.10 miles)[1] and Iowa State’s (273.92 miles)[2] “close” vicinity offers competition for the same players and exposure. Banning those schools seems somewhat reasonable and if Ryan felt Virginia tampered with Uthoff restricting the school is logical. However, not allowing Uthoff to even consider a school in the ACC is unfair and hindering his well-being. The NCAA should be acting in the best interest of the student athlete and not allow the injustice.

[1] and [2] Mileage according to