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January 23, 2012MADISON - Bo Ryan may not have had a front-row seat for the same topic he was arguing against Monday afternoon, but it's not as though he was in the nosebleeds, either.
When Russell Wilson took UW by storm by committing to play for Bret Bielema's Badgers, he inadvertently poured gas on a fire that has been seemingly burning within Ryan for quite some time.
The 11th-year basketball head coach is firmly against the NCAA rule that allows transfers immediate eligibility as long as he/she already completed their undergraduate degree and that he/she plans to enroll at an institution featuring a graduate program foreign to the original school they attended.
Ryan doesn't think the development - - 'free agency in college sports' as some would call it - - is trending in the right direction. And that's not a slight on Wilson or any other particular person. It's just one long-time coaches' belief in regards to another questionable and somewhat seedy rule.
"I don't think it's a good idea at all," Ryan said. "I've never liked the idea of people leaving a program after four years of development at that institution, with teammates and with the school and to all of a sudden change and be eligible to play right away.
"If you make a move you sit."
That's the way it is for any player that hasn't already completed his degree.
If you're an undergraduate with academic credits separating you from your degree, no matter the area of study, if you transfer to another Division One program you have to sit out a year without getting that eligibility back.
When Shariff Chambliss transferred to Wisconsin after establishing himself as an All-Big Ten performer at Penn State, he had to sit out a season before competing during the 2004-05 season.
That's just the way it works.
Ryan, philosophically of the old-school approach, vehemently discouraged the act of bringing in a player for one year, using players such as Brian Butch or Mike Wilkinson as an example, two players that earned their degree before pursuing their master's during their fifth and final season in Madison, Ryan explained that those types of players could have made an impact somewhere else, specifically for a team that was in need of a post presence.
"It's creating free agency and it's creating conversations behind the backs of the institutions and coaches and teammates," Ryan said. "It's a terrible rule. It's one of the worst rules I've ever seen."
So though the Russell Wilson experiment helped UW earn it's second-straight Big Ten title and consequent trip to the Rose Bowl, don't expect any sort of similar decision to be made on the hardwood.
It's not Ryan's style.
"We've been contacted about players," Ryan said. "I tell my assistants that I have absolutely no interest. That's not making a judgment on anybody else. In some cases, I'm sure it's done for all the right reasons.
"I just think because it's out there people are going to abuse it in other ways."
The following is the audio file from that presser:
Bo Ryan, 1/23/12