Harbaugh, Patterson, Mars and being sick of ’em all

You guys know my position on player transfers — the current rules are too restrictive and cater to coaches’ sense of control — but I’ve got to tell you after watching the farce of Shea Patterson’s transfer from Ole Miss to Michigan, there’s a part of me ready to declare a pox on all their houses.

Remember, this all started with Patterson and his lawyer, who has an enormous hard-on for Ole Miss, screaming about how the school needed to man up and let Patterson transfer because everyone lied to him.  And when I say screaming, I mean finding receptive idiots in the national media to share their message of perfidy.

Shockingly, Ole Miss had no wish to accommodate the duo’s desire/demand that it admit to a pattern of deception, while not really having a dog in the hunt for where the kid plays this season.  And why should it, anyway?  No matter what, he’s not suiting up in Oxford.

So, there’s one school that wants a quarterback and another which just wants the quarterback and his legal entourage to go away.  The solution seems simple enough that even two athletic directors could figure it out.

The NCAA decided Friday to waive in Patterson’s case its normal rule that requires non-graduated transfers to sit out a year before returning to the playing field. Michigan and Ole Miss said in an announcement Friday that the two athletic departments worked together during the past week to create a waiver request that they both agreed was accurate and one that took advantage of recently adapted NCAA rules to allow Patterson to get on the field this fall…

The new waiver, which used an NCAA amendment passed earlier this month that takes a player’s academic standing into account when applying to play immediately, put to rest Ole Miss’ previous objections to Patterson’s reasons for transferring.

“Both schools are ready to move forward and appreciate the assistance of the NCAA staff in bringing this matter to a resolution,” the two athletic departments said in a joint statement. “While the process has been complex at times, the solution was simple — two flagship universities and the NCAA staff working together with a focus on student-athlete well-being.”

Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork said he reached out to Michigan officials last week to try to work out a resolution regarding Patterson’s eligibility.

“Our biggest thing was we wanted to work with Michigan directly,” Bjork said. “We were able to do that and reach a resolution. We’ve admitted all along that our program has gone through some challenges. While Shea was here, we had a coaching change in July. If that impacted his well-being and he didn’t want to be here, we wish him the best and didn’t want to stand in the way of it.”

In other words, quit letting the lawyer try to score points and find a work-around that meets the schools’ goals.  Success!  Meanwhile, with the mission accomplished, Patterson admits the obvious.

In this case, Michigan benefitted from Patterson deciding that he did not want to play at his school (University of Mississippi) anymore because of football program probation violations. Ole Miss, in the wake of an NCAA investigation into booster-involved recruiting, faces a post-season bowl ban for a second straight in 2018, preventing it from being eligible for a spot in the playoff.

And Patterson, along with not wanting to sit out a year, admitted on Saturday that played into his decision to leave Ole Miss.

“If a university’s football program situation changes drastically, kind of like mine did with the bowl ban and two different coaching staffs, that’s obviously not the situation that I wanted to be in originally,” Patterson said.

“Players should get an opportunity leave that situation. That wasn’t what they thought they were getting themselves into.”

Well, yeah.  Might have been better to have said so from the beginning, son.

Now that the hay is in the barn, Jim Harbaugh has some thoughts about transfers, and they’re about what you’d might expect coming from a football head coach.

Now, in the wake of long, drawn-out process with the NCAA over quarterback Shea Patterson’s eligibility in 2018, the Michigan football coach has some ideas to help fix the college-football transfer debate.

“There’s got to be something,” Harbaugh said Saturday during a football clinic in Paris. “Something. Maybe the school pays back the other school? Ya know?

“Say a school like Michigan gets a player from Eastern Michigan or Central Michigan — maybe you’ve got to pay the scholarship back? Or transfers — maybe you’ve got to pay the scholarship back?”

… To be clear here, Harbaugh isn’t advocating for a change in policy. Just extra burden on the team accepting a transfer from another school.

“Just so there doesn’t become free agency in college football,” Harbaugh said. “That’s the thing I would worry about. But I think scholarships should count as two, or pay back the other school for the money that they have invested, potentially.”

Free agency for players!  Heaven forbid.

In December, though, Harbaugh’s actions somewhat contradicted his words. Despite college football free agency being a concern and players fighting through the adversity being his desire, reports surfaced shortly after Patterson, safety Deontay Anderson and other players were granted permission to transfer that a Michigan plane landed in Oxford, Miss., and that the fourth-year coach of the Wolverines took some players to IHOP.

Hypocrites gonna hypocrite.

Harbaugh’s suggestion, of course, if it came into being, would only serve to benefit the wealthy, which would be more than willing to hand out a little money to smooth the way to boosting their rosters.  Also, of course, none of the funding would wind up in the players’ pockets.  That’s got all the makings of a win-win for big Jim, who, by the way, is making a cool $9 million a year.

Sounds like he and Patterson are made for each other.



Filed under Freeze!, Heard About Harbaugh?, The NCAA

24 responses to “Harbaugh, Patterson, Mars and being sick of ’em all

  1. I hope Shea Patterson falls flat on his face in Ann Arbor.

    The more Jim Harbaugh speaks … the more I hope Corch beats the hell out of him in November.


  2. CB

    So you don’t think the Ole Miss Coaches lied to Patterson?


    • You read Patterson’s comment. What do you think?


      • Gaskilldawg

        I wonder if Ole Miss promised stuff to a 5 star QB during the 2015 recfruiting season. Patterson may hav e had first hand information as to what Ole Miss was doing in recruiting.
        Maybe not, but I wonder.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Uglydawg

      I do. But everyone involved in this situation seems to be part of a douche kit. And JH is the nozzle.


    • CB

      I couldn’t say for sure. Perhaps he exaggerated the extent of the deception, but I certainly wouldn’t put it past Freeze and his staff. With an organization like the NCAA who is probably tired of bad press, I don’t blame a kid for saying what he has to say to get where he needs to be. As for his statements above, he got what he wanted, what would be the use in doubling down? Don’t see the point in further pissing anyone off.


  3. Hogbody Spradlin

    Sounds like Patterson’s lawyer chose the wrong strategy at the beginning.


    • Stoopnagle

      When you need something from somebody, it helps to not paint them into a corner they don’t want to be in.


  4. John Denver is full of shit...

    $172,000 a week.


  5. steve

    “Free agent? I was an agent and I didn’t work for free!” Cecil Newton.


  6. Mayor

    Looks like his lawyer did an excellent job. He got Patterson exactly what he wanted. That is what he was supposed to do. It’s called representing the client.

    Liked by 1 person

    • He could have gotten the exact same result w/o Mars, but whatever.


      • gotta go with the Mayor on this one ,Senator . You gotta give the other side a reason to want to come to the table and Patterson’s lawyer used what seemed to work really well for Houston Nutt’s lawyer . Having gone through this debacle with Nutt/Ole Miss and the resulting shit storm for Hugh Freeze I’m sure the Ole Miss athletic department did NOT want to go through that again and it had to improve Patterson’s leverage in the eventual negotiations. I,.personally never argue with results like this. Clients usually don’t care how you get results , they just want what they want and Shea got what he wanted. This ain’t corporate or dirt law this is litigation and the best way to not have to go to war is to appear to be ready to go to war. He ,the lawyer, didn’t really have to have a”hard on” for Ole Miss he just needed to APPEAR to be in said turgid condition.


        • Maybe you guys know more about how the process works in this case, but I’m not convinced Mars had any impact at all.

          Under NCAA rules, Patterson could have transferred and been eligible to play immediately if he were a junior or senior. But because he’s a sophomore, ordinarily he’d have to sit a year.

          Mars tried to use an attack on Ole Miss’ credibility to force the school to capitulate to Patterson’s wishes. It didn’t work. What did work was an NCAA rule change, as Andy Staples explains:

          The NCAA Division I Council—somewhat out of the blue—issued new guidance regarding transfer waivers. No longer was something as extreme as “egregious behavior” required. Now, a waiver could be granted if the following conditions were met:

          a. The transfer is due to documented mitigating circumstances that are outside the student-athlete’s control and directly impact the health, safety and well-being of the student-athlete;

          b. At the time of transfer to the certifying institution, the student-athlete would have been athletically and academically eligible and in good standing on the team had he or she remained at the previous institution;

          c. The certifying institution must certify that the student-athlete meets percentage-of-degree requirements; and

          d. The previous institution’s athletics administration does not oppose the transfer.

          “As soon as we saw that, we called Michigan,” Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork told SI.com Friday afternoon. A joint statement from Michigan and Ole Miss released Friday also credited the NCAA change as the impetus for the tidy conclusion of this case.

          No longer did the transfer need to be contentious.

          So, while you could argue that Mars’ strategy made sense under the old rules, it was now irrelevant. Ole Miss was able to give its consent without having to compromise itself.

          Unless you’re arguing that Mars was the impetus to the rule change, I’m having a hard time giving him credit for the outcome. There was no way Ole Miss was going to give in to his demand in this case. Patterson got what he wanted because of the NCAA, not Mars.


          • Mayor

            The operative words are Ole Miss “was able” to give its consent. Ole Miss didn’t have to consent even after the rule change. The Rebs/Bears’ AD didn’t consent out of the goodness of his heart. He did it to avoid having to relive the Freeze scandal all over again in the media. Wewoof is right. Patterson’s lawyer played this exactly right.


            • He did it to avoid having to relive the Freeze scandal all over again in the media.

              Exactly how was that going to happen?

              Again, Ole Miss wasn’t going to agree to Mars’ terms before the rule change.


              • Mayor

                OK OK, I’ll let you have the last word on this. Patterson got exactly what he wanted but his lawyer played no part in it other than to make a fool out of himself in the media. It was all the kindness of the NCAA and the Ole Piss AD (lousy-ass good for nuthin’ lawyers..grumble….grumble….grumble…). 🙂


  7. Stoopnagle

    Shocker: Management doesn’t want to pay labor, doesn’t want labor to be able to test its value on an open market place, and wants to poach its lessers for its best talent.


  8. DawgPhan

    Think of all the strange math that would go into determining the scholarship value of a player to transfer if the schools had to pay for transfers.


  9. Wookaldinho

    Patterson wouldn’t even start for Ole Miss in 2018
    Call a spade a spade