Well, that escalated quickly.
The Utah State basketball program has elected to block former Aggie David Collett's request to transfer. Collette decided to leave the basketball program two days prior to the season opener against Weber State. First-year head coach Tim Dureya felt someone was trying to steal his player.
"I think there were a lot of factors in play that, unfortunately, have become a trend in college basketball of schools poaching other schools' players," Dureya said about Collete leaving the program..
There has not been a lot of news of where Collette will finish his college basketball career, but the options for the redshirt sophomore have taken a big hit. Initially, the Aggies were blocking Collette to any power five program but now there is a full block. A full block means that Collette would have to pay his own way for the first two semesters of his new school and also that coaches can not contact him. Naturally Collette is going to appeal the decision.
In addition to not granting any sort of release, Utah State has canceled his athletic aid for the rest of this semester which he is finishing out in Logan.
This does seem harsh for Utah State to pull his aid and not grant his release, but Collette leaving days before the season is also not a good move.
There was an incident during practice that may have led to Collette walking away because of the way it was handled. There was a fight in practice in which one player allegedly sucker punched another in the back of the head, and Dureya told players to keep it quiet.
"He told us not to tell anyone about it — not even family members — because he didn't want the media to find out," Collette said to Yahoo Sports. "Why tell your players to shove it under the rug? If you're a coach telling your players to shove something under the rug, you're obviously not doing something right."
Utah State emailed a statement to ESPN on the issue.
"There was an incident in practice, and the athletics director and others within the athletics department were informed. Punishment for the incident was handed out and seen through."
A mess of a situation indeed and that is not the end of what Utah State has done to Collette. The school changed his official height and weight to old information. He is currently 6-10, 235 pounds but it now lists him at 6-8, 220 pounds, and if schools know he is looking for a home and take a look at his profile they may not want a player of the size listed.
"Who does that? It's so childish," Collette said. "I compare Utah State to a bitter ex-girlfriend. I feel like I broke up with Utah State and now she's doing everything she can to get back at me."
That issue over the fight and keeping it quiet made Collette not comfortable around the program.
"I don't understand why Utah State would do this," Collette said. "If a guy's not comfortable where he is or not happy, why not let him go? The coaches and administrators always talk about how they have their players' backs. Well, obviously not. From what I've experienced, they do not have my best interest at heart whatsoever."
This clearly shows that there are multiple sides to the story and both sides have faults of their own. Collette leaving just before the season is not a good move, but neither is Utah State not granting any sort of release and pulling his aid for the rest of the semester.
A partially block would be fine but this seems like Utah State is punishing Collette for leaving when he did, and however bad the timing is this hurts the kid and makes the Aggies program look petty. Yet, Collette should not be free to go to any school he wants to when he leaves a program days before the season regardless of the situation.
Both parties look bad but Utah State looks much more worse in this situation.