Bo Ryan probably should have just said "no" when he was asked to appear on ESPN's Mike & Mike in the Morning today.
Early this morning, the Wisconsin men's basketball coach agreed to appear on the show to discuss a semi-controversial decision that he made. Recently, one of his players, freshman forward Jarrod Uthoff, expressed an interest in transferring out of Wisconsin and playing somewhere else next season. And Ryan had agreed to allow him to do it. But, he'd also come up with a list of about two dozen schools—including Marquette, Iowa State, and any Big Ten or ACC program—that he would not allow Uthoff to transfer to. So, he was asked about the thinking behind it and the perception that he's trying to "block" Uthoff from going where he really wants to go. And what started off as a semi-controversial decision quickly spiraled into a PR nightmare for Wisconsin.
Rather than offer up some kind of reasonable explanation, Ryan tried to say that Uthoff made a commitment to Wisconsin that he felt he should honor. He also tried to compare an athletic scholarship to a contract (despite the fact that the contracts that Ryan and other college coaches sign ultimately mean nothing if and when they decide to leave one coaching job for a better one). And, finally, clearly frustrated by the conversation, Ryan fell back on the worst explanation possible when he essentially said, "Well, I'm just doing what every other college coach is doing, so why are you picking on me?"
You know that feeling you get when you're looking at a car crash? You want to look at something else. But, you just can't stop looking at the car crash. That's what it felt like listening to Ryan's interview. To be fair to the guy, he's not the only college coach who has tried to block a player from leaving his program. But, he is the only one who has gone on a national radio show that's also broadcast on ESPN2 and tried to justify it. So, it ended up looking and sounding like one big car crash.
Bet he wishes he would've just slept in this morning, huh?
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