Michigan Basketball: Why John Beilein left for the NBA

John Beilein has said many times, he just loves coaching basketball. During his time at Michigan basketball, coach Beilein advocated for a system like college football, where a committed player has to stay three years. That fell on deaf ears. Could it be that Beilein was tired of paying the price for a high level of player development?

“I hope he’s not too good as a freshman,” is something former Michigan basketball coach John Beilein has said that to his assistant coaches in the past.

That is also something Jim Harbaugh does not have to even think about. One can only imagine that the recruiting game wore on Beilein. To travel around and get top talent only to watch it walk out the door after one season seems to be taxing, especially as Michigan basketball repeatedly lost players to the NBA over the years.

Clearly, there are some things the NCAA has got to try to fix. Basketball and hockey have the same issue. One and done. While baseball and football, student-athletes must stay three full years. It is almost a joke. The playing field should be level across the board. Yet, at the present time, it seems the system is not going to changing any time soon.

So what does it say that  Cleveland Cavaliers a team that won 11 fewer games than Michigan walked away with the Wolverines head coach?

Sure, athletic director, Warde Manuel has a pretty easy sell, thanks in large part to John Beilein and his work at Michigan. But how long will the next coach stick around? If he does not agree with the NCAA regulations.

On the night of his last basketball banquet as Michigan’s head coach, Beilein made a rather telling statement. “It’s a free world, and I think the sentiment is, kids should be able to go out and have these opportunities.” Something the coach did not agree with.

In the end, what seems to have happened is John Beilein fought the good fight until he had no fight left in him. He came to an understand the college game he loved was not going to change.

Not anytime soon anyway. Recruiting around the world literally, working year-round only to have players be able to leave after one season, seems to have been the reason Michigan lost their head coach.

Next: 5 realistic replacements for John Beilein

Now Beilein can do what he loves. coach basketball.