Good late morning/early afternoon, Coug fans.
Yesterday, it was reported that fan favorite Washington State forward DJ Rodman has hit the transfer portal.
Washington State F D.J. Rodman has entered the transfer portal. Grad transfer. https://t.co/lbm6KvxKu6— Verbal Commits (@VerbalCommits) May 1, 2023
I think the biggest shock factor for this stems from his heart tugging gesture on WSU Senior Night, where he announced he would be returning to the program- and it resulted in one of the most wholesome sports moments I’ve ever seen.
I’m putting the above picture in because I’m choosing to exercise some critical thinking- in my lived experience, I’ve never seen a grown man leap into the arms of a young adult he mentors in order to express gratitude and joy that they get to (hypothetically) continue to grow a program together, and work to advance the athletic career and capabilities of said young adult athlete.
We have seen time and time again how complicated and head spinning the portal can be. We talk about this from behind our tiny screens every time a 22 year old makes a decision about their future. I’m not saying we, as fans, are not entitled to have feelings- it’s hard to root for an athlete week after week and not get invested in them, either as an individual, or for what they bring to a team we love.
There are responsibilities college athletes take on that go farther than my realm of understanding, so all I can attest to is my ability to cheer them on from afar. These are people I will likely never meet, or spend a significant deal of time with, and lives I will likely never impact. However- on the other side of your tiny screen is a person who you, at one point or another, advocated for, cheered for, and congratulated. Be sad to see him go- this stings! But don’t waste your time being cruel.
This is also not my way of opening up a debate about NIL- even though, again, there is clearly no love lost between Rodman and Smith. Donate to the CougarCollective here if you have that big of an issue with all this.
He could also come back! We don’t know! Time will tell.
During this last season, Rodman averaged 9.6 points per game, 5.8 rebounds, and had 41.3% FG. Rodman possessed an almost indescribable leadership within the program, strengthened his defense, and brought amazing energy to games.
Ultimately if he does decide to pursue other options, I will wish him well forever (and hope he goes somewhere... not in the Pac 12)!
Go Cougs! Don’t give up on Smith.