Valentine Izundu, a WSU basketball graduate transfer who had been targeting a move to San Diego State, was blocked today from such a move by a WSU committee, according to Jacob Thorpe of The Spokesman-Review.
At issue? Whether SDSU "tampered" with Izundu before he was released from his scholarship by WSU.
Coach Ernie Kent believed that Izundu had been recruited prematurely by SDSU, so he blocked a move to the Aztecs, as is his prerogative according to NCAA rules. Izundu insisted that he had done nothing wrong and appealed.
In a completely unsurprising move, the committee -- which is composed of non-athletic staff -- sided with its coach. The WSU committee "upheld the original decision on the grounds that " 'the committee felt that tampering has taken place (improper communication through a third party),' saying it was the key factor in the decision," according to Thorpe.
(In case you're wondering, these third-party communications are how a significant number of transfers take place. Do you generally quit your job before you know if you've got something at least as good lined up? No? Neither do these players, who often have numerous adults around them who are invested in seeing them become professional athletes, no matter how far fetched the possibility. People feel each other out, often through intermediaries. Yanno, just like the real world, where universities conduct super secret searches for their president before being accused of violating open meetings laws in that search. Except "student-athletes" aren't getting paid for their trouble, and there was no NCAA rule barring WSU from talking to Schulz. Hooray equity!)
I'll reiterate what I said with regards to Kent's decision to block Que Johnson's transfer to at least 23 schools*: This is silliness of the highest order, and it makes Kent look petty. Izundu might not have given four years to WSU as Johnson did, but he gave the Cougs two, and he has his degree -- just let the young man go where he wants to already. You're embarrassing yourself, WSU.
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE TAMPERING??
How about this instead: Quit crying and run a program in which players want to stay, regardless of when someone picks up the phone.
*That block has since been lifted. Don't be surprised if Que ends up at a school that was not on that list in the first place.