Tom Izzo Sounds Off On NCAA Transfers

This is the time of year when college coaches are in full recruiting mode because of transfer students and while some may view it as an exciting time, it certainly has its critics.

It just so happens that one of those critics is Michigan State Spartans head men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo, and he was not shy about his feelings on the subject.

Speaking to Joe Rexrode of the Detroit Free-Press at a “Coaches Beat Cancer” charity event at a Michigan country club, Izzo further elaborated.

“If we don’t do something in the NCAA, we’re stupid, to use a bad word,” Izzo said of the growing number of players transferring in college basketball. “That’s how, I think if you ask any one of these guys, I don’t know who would say it publicly, but it’s just getting to be a shame. Are we teaching kids anything to fight through? But because of that, you’re always recruiting. And we may fill the spot, we may not.”

Though he was a bit vague in its reasoning, it appears that Izzo isn’t a fan of transfers because he views the process as a means for student-athletes to get out of a non-ideal situation and take their talents somewhere else rather than fight through it and work hard to establish themselves where they were originally.

It’s hard to argue against that, but I don’t think Izzo understands the reasoning why so many players do in fact transfer.

The fact is that a majority of college athletes get into their respective sport because they want a shot at turning professional someday and thus having the means to give themselves and their families better lives than the ones they themselves had growing up. In some cases, that means transferring for all sorts of reasons, from lack of playing time to a coaching change to sometimes the initial choice just not being the right fit. Then, there are graduate transfers, players who graduate in less than four years and transfer to another school just so they can star on one squad for their final year of eligibility.

It’s also funny that Izzo would say this because at the moment, he and his staff are working hard to land 7’2″ transfer Paschal Chukwu, formerly of Providence College. Given these comments, one can’t help but consider that Chukwu may have second thoughts about playing for a coach whose opinion on transfers isn’t exactly positive.

Just the same, it’s all about building a winning team and given how much Michigan State needs a low post presence, Izzo recruiting Chukwu is a good decision regardless of his feelings on transferring.

Michigan State went 27-12 (12-6 Big Ten) last season and went on a great run in the NCAA Tournament before losing to eventual champion Duke in the Final Four. Since Izzo took over as head coach back in 1995, the team is 495-199 (233-107 Big Ten) with seven trips to the Final Four, four Big Ten titles and one national championship.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports

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