Michael Carvell/CMG
DT Antwuan Jackson wants to transfer from Auburn.

Auburn blocks player from transferring to Ohio State, Chris Holtmann’s wild buyout, and more

Ryan Ginn

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Today is Wednesday, June 14, and it’s time to Wake Up Sloopy.


NCAA transfer rule rears its ugly head

Antwuan Jackson appears to be paying the price for even considering another school other than the one with which he signed.

Jackson, a 4-star defensive tackle in the Class of 2016, chose Auburn over Ohio State in a hotly contested recruiting battle. At the time, it was the latest in a frustrating series of misses at defensive tackle for the Buckeyes.

Now Jackson is transferring from Auburn, but he almost certainly won’t end up in Columbus. The Tigers have blocked Jackson from transferring to any other SEC school, as well as Clemson, Mercer, Georgia Southern … and Ohio State. The first three schools are on Auburn’s 2017 schedule. The Buckeyes, of course, are not.

It’s just the latest example of coaches taking more and more leeway with a well-meaning but ultimately poorly thought-out rule. As The New York Times detailed in this 2013 story, the ability to block transfers originally existed to keep players from switching to rival teams. While not perfect, that’s at least somewhat understandable. In recent years, however, coaches have been blocking schools by the dozens.

Speaking to The State on June 1, Jackson nailed the ridiculousness of it all. What’s the difference to Auburn whether Jackson wants to play for Michigan (allowed) or Ohio State (banned)? Neither school is in the SEC or is scheduled to play Auburn anytime soon.

“My question was: Why are they blocking Ohio State for no reason?” Jackson said. “They just put Ohio State on there for no reason. My question to them is why are they blocking me from a Big Ten school when they don’t have anything to do with Big Ten schools?

“Why didn’t they block me from Michigan or Indiana or any other Big Ten school? Why would they do that immediately?”

On Tuesday, Jackson revived the debate with a tweet.

The good news for Jackson is that the hypocrisy of the rule (coaches have no restrictions on switching jobs) has led to some pushback. Kansas State coach Bill Snyder blocked all 35 (!!) schools that wide receiver Corey Sutton had on his list of potential transfer destinations. The outcry led Snyder to give Sutton a full release, removing all 35 restrictions.

Pittsburgh basketball recently tried to block Cameron Johnson from using a graduate transfer to North Carolina, which was especially rich given the recent turnover at the school. Here’s Jay Bilas of ESPN.com nailing the subject:

Johnson was told by a coach and an athletic director that had each just left a job while under contract to come to Pitt that he could not transfer to the school of his choice. That the associate athletic director who made the case to the Pitt appeal committee for Pitt’s restrictive transfer policy also just left Pitt for Oregon State was especially galling, and on the verge of hypocrisy.

For now, though, Jackson’s path to Ohio State — or any of the other schools on the list — remains blocked by a coach simply because he has that option.

Chris Holtmann isn’t going anywhere

Ohio State men’s basketball coach Chris Holtmann will not be leaving Columbus at any point in the next four years. Well, not by his own choosing, at least.

When Land of 10 obtained his employment contract Tuesday, it revealed a rather interesting provision in the buyout section. Here’s the exact wording:

12. If Coach terminates his employment with Ohio State within the first four (4) years of employment, Coach shall pay to Ohio State an amount equal to the Total Cash Compensation remaining to be paid by Ohio State on his employment agreement multiplied by the years remaining on the term of his employment agreement.

Holtmann’s deal is for eight years and $24 million, so here’s what it would look like if he left before it expires:

2017: $24 million x 8 = $192 million

2018: $21 million x 7 = $147 million

2019: $18 million x 6 = $108 million

2020: $15 million x 5 = $75 million

So if a school decided this year that it suddenly wanted Holtmann, he would need to fork over nearly $200 million to Ohio State. I don’t see that happening.

On the other hand, if Ohio State decides to fire Holtmann it will simply owe him however much of the $24 million is left on the contract.

Could Kyle Young come to Ohio State?

Now that Butler has hired an outsider for the job, it looks like Holtmann will be bringing his entire Butler staff to Ohio State.

But what about the recruits?

Unlike the aforementioned travails involving recruiting transfers, schools have a pretty good track record of releasing newly signed true freshmen in the event of a coaching change. This is relevant because the Bulldogs beat out Ohio State in 2017 for Massillon (Ohio) Jackson 4-star forward Kyle Young.

Could Young join Holtmann in Columbus? It sounds like it’s at least on the table. Of Butler’s five commits in the Class of 2017, three have affirmed their desire to stay. Young has not done so and, in fact, has been difficult for the Indianapolis Star to reach for comment.

B1G happenings

• Penn State CB Lamont Wade released a rap video.

• There’s more bad news coming out of Michigan State.

• Michigan’s trip to Rome cost a pretty penny.

• Penn State coach James Franklin could be getting a contract extension.

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