Michigan basketball shouldn’t be without the star transfer Chaundee Brown next season considering the circumstances.
The current climate has brought forth plenty of questions about what is fair and what isn’t. Should seniors be granted an extra year of eligibility? Should coaches be allowed extra time for practice and recruiting? And for Michigan basketball, the question of Chaundee Brown‘s eligibility is at the forefront.
Last season, Brown improved immensely, but not enough to save his coach, Danny Manning, from getting the ax. Chaundee averaged 12.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 1.4 assists, and still, the Demon Deacons weren’t able to scrounge together a winning record. This was the third season in a row Wake Forrest couldn’t get the job done in the ACC.
Down goes Manning and out goes Brown.
When a coach recruits a basketball player, he or she plays for that coach, and then that coach gets fired, that player should be granted a waiver. It’s grounds for an exemption, although it’s not a guarantee. There are compounding factors, however.
As SI’s Michael Spath’s source points out, the NCAA is actively under attack from the G League, which can offer 18 year-olds nearly a half a million dollars to play for them instead of college. Not approving simple waivers like Brown’s displays an anti-student-athelete stance.
“Beyond that, you have two factors working in his favor,” Spath’s source said. “The first is this recent rise of the G-League, with a few high-profile recruits opting to skip college altogether for pro basketball. Since the adoption of the NBA’s ‘one-year-out-of-school’ rule, the NCAA hasn’t had much competition for its players. There were, of course, a few rare cases, but there was no real threat.
“Now, you’ve got players openly talking about using the G-League as a stepping stone, and that’s bad for the NCAA. So, if you’re looking at this, would you rather have a young man like Chaundee, who could be a standout on a Michigan team with a lot of cache, spending next year in the college game or in the pros?”
If a waiver is not granted, high school athletes will be given two options:
- Play in the G League for a year with a friendly contract that allows mega advertising contracts. OR…
- Head to the NCAA, where they don’t care about you or circumstances that are out of your control.
It’s not the end of the world if Brown isn’t granted a waiver, but it’s still a blow for college basketball. The waiver process has always been the subject of scrutiny and frustration from fans, administrators, and players. Michigan State’s head coach, Tom Izzo, voiced strong disagreement with the process.
“I don’t really appreciate when some people are getting waivers, and other people aren’t,” Izzo said. “And all the research I’ve seen the consistency and the guidelines for this seem absurd. There’s arbitrary decisions being made. And what bothers me the most is they’re being made by individuals who don’t really understand what’s going on in our game.”
Tom’s comments came shortly after the news broke that Joe Hauser, who transferred into MSU from Marquette, was not granted a waiver. It caused Izzo’s resignation from the National Association of Basketball Coaches board of directors.
The NCAA must realize their actions, no matter how simple, can have immeasurable consequences.