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Valentine Izundu transfers to SDSU, Steve Fisher defends program's integrity

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Here's to hoping these are the final words on this topic.

NCAA Basketball: Fresno State at San Diego State Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The saga of Valentine Izundu's transfer from WSU has finally come to an end, as he has officially signed with San Diego State.

You might remember that Izundu initially was barred from transferring to SDSU after WSU coach Ernie Kent believed that a third party had "tampered" with both Izundu and Que Johnson, who went to together on vacation to San Diego during spring break and, while there, attended an SDSU NIT game after being given tickets by a friend.

Kent eventually relented, telling Cougfan in an interview last week that "fighting it became more trouble than it was worth." (Note: It's always more trouble than it's worth.)

Now, Fisher -- no longer constrained by the NCAA's rules about commenting on a "recruitable" athlete -- is firing back at Kent and WSU.

“It’s disappointing,” Fisher said. “No matter how you frame it, some people will say: ‘Well, they had to do something. Why (is WSU) denying him? They have to know something that’s not out there.’

“That’s why I hoped people would check everything, do everything possible to investigate how he came down here, why he came down here, who he was with, what he did. Because it would be substantiated that we had no knowledge or assistance with any of it. Yeah, it was disappointing that it happened. I’m just happy it turned out the right way.”

Izundu, for his part, maintained the entire time that nothing improper happened, and that he was being railroaded by Kent and WSU.

“More than anything, I had empathy for Valentine,” Fisher said. “Because I knew what he was saying was 100 percent on point. We had nothing to do with his desire to leave Washington State, not one thing. There was no direct, indirect, third-party contact. There was nothing that we did to try to talk someone into leaving and coming to San Diego State.

“From that standpoint, I felt as if he was not being given what he was due – an opportunity to explore all options, which included us.”

Kent really can't seem to let it go, though. In that Cougfan interview, he said:

"We have to accept and live with the transferring phenomenon and in that vein there is a right way and a wrong way. ...

"When an individual sits in my office and tells me he wants to transfer because we don’t have the people to get him the ball, or a player comes into my office and says something equally puzzling, I take exception because it’s pretty clear a third-party entity is involved. I’m not talking about parents. I’m talking about individuals outside the family with their own agendas."

Here's to hoping the war of words is finally over.