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Posted on Thu, Apr 19, 2012 : 1:51 p.m.

Michigan clarifies John Beilein's preference on transfer destinations

By Nick Baumgardner

Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan made national news this week with his decision to restrict former Badger forward Jarrod Uthoff's ability to transfer to the school of his choosing.

Ryan originally put together a list of 26 schools, including the entire Big Ten and Atlantic Coast Conference, that Wisconsin would not release Uthoff to, drawing national criticism in the process.

Michigan basketball coach John Beilein was then folded into the debate on Thursday by's Jeff Goodman, who -- via Twitter -- compared Beilein's handling of transfer Evan Smotrycz to that of Ryan's actions with Uthoff.


While Michigan coach John Beilein prefers that players that transfer from his program not land on a team that the Wolverines will play, the university said that is not a steadfast policy.

Angela J. Cesere |

"John Beilein's conditions on Evan Smotrycz were Bo-esque," Goodman tweeted. "Couldn't go to Big Ten or anyone on Michigan had already scheduled for 2 years."

On Thursday, a Michigan spokesman clarified Beilein's stance on transfers to

The spokesman said that when a player opts to transfer from Michigan -- as Smotrycz, Carlton Brundidge and Colton Christian did last month -- it's Beilein's preference that the player not choose a Big Ten school or a program that Michigan has on its schedule over the next two years.

That's his preference.

However, it's not a policy, the spokesman said. And it's not a hard and fast rule.

The spokesman said that should a situation arise where a transfer student shows a strong desire to attend a school Michigan has scheduled down the road, then Beilein would be open to having a discussion about the situation, and would not be absolutely opposed to allowing the transfer to occur before the discussion took place.

It's his preference that transfers don't leave for direct future competition, but not his policy.

Presently, Michigan has confirmed non-league games against Bradley, Arkansas, West Virginia, Iowa State and Arizona over the next two seasons.

The Wolverines also will continue to participate in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge -- and may well have to play against Smotrycz, who decided to transfer to Maryland (with Michigan's full release) earlier this week.

Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan basketball for He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.

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Wally the Wolverine

Fri, Apr 20, 2012 : 5:36 p.m.

You can play anywhere you want... long as it isn't there, or there, or there or there... Reminds you of Steve Martin as the weight guesser when describing the prizes given out at the carnival (The Jerk).


Fri, Apr 20, 2012 : 4:36 a.m.

of course, it's about the students, isn't it?


Fri, Apr 20, 2012 : 3:03 a.m.

In business, non-compete clauses are enforceable for at best a year. Seems harsh that a former employer/coach could control where you work/play for longer than a business could block you from going to a competitor. If it is not illegal, then just another way the corporate drones who run college sports are screwing the students who play it.


Thu, Apr 19, 2012 : 11:29 p.m.

a player should be allowed to transfer anywhere. I bet an attorney could make a strong case for it. What would people say if a coach took a job in the same conference or for a team on a future schedule??? NOTHING. They do it all the time. I dont want to see anyone leave Michigan but if they do, they have a right to go where ever they want.


Thu, Apr 19, 2012 : 9:31 p.m.

A non-laeague game agaisnt Kentucky in April would be nice to have.


Thu, Apr 19, 2012 : 7:56 p.m.

Both sides (the team and the player) are losing something so it seems only reasonable and fair to allow the team to restrict options. Michigan invested in Smotrycz (time and money) and gave him playing time and he left of his own accord. Yeah, he already has to sit out a year, but to directly compete against his former team who supported and developed him seems particularly unfair. I don't know the situation with Bo Ryan, somebody said he was lying about something but I don't know anything about it.