Pat Forde: Beilein refusing Spike transfer release to B1G school is "height of hypocrisy"

Submitted by Sopwith on March 30th, 2016 at 9:11 PM

Pretty much the bad PR you might expect, and I agree. Coaches shouldn't have veto power over transfer destination.

LINK to article titled "Height of Hypocrisy: Michigan Limiting Spike Albrecht's Transfer Options"

Money quotes from Beilein:

"There are 334 other schools he can go to,” Beilein told Yahoo Sports on Wednesday, almost getting the math right on 351 minus the other 13 Big Ten members. “He has a lot of choices."


"Having a kid sit out a year is not like going to jail,” he said. “It’s a slippery slope. I want what’s best for Spike but also what’s best for our program. You train a guy and develop him for four years and suddenly he’s the starting point guard at Michigan State?"

As for Spike's dad Chuck, he seems to be taking it better than I would:

"To be honest, this is kind of what we expected,” he said. “It’s not totally a surprise. I don’t think it’s real fair, but it seems like the norm.

"There’s certain schools in the Big Ten he’d never consider and others he might, I don’t know. If they’re worried about Spike – I think they’ve got bigger problems. But we do respect Michigan and the program, so Spike doesn’t want to cause problems.”

Forde closes with this, which I totally agree with:

Yet here in the real world, a player who will have a degree – and who has already been told he’s not going to have a scholarship in 2016-17 – is still having his future controlled and curtailed by the college. It’s wrong. And at Michigan, where the 2015 starting quarterback was a Hawkeye in 2014, it’s also hypocritical.



March 31st, 2016 at 12:50 PM ^

no other program wanted or viewed him as a scholarship player. He got the ultimate thrill of playing and competing on the biggest stage in college basketball by playing on a team developed by John Beilein at Michigan. Whether we like it or not, the college system is rigged by the schools and the oversight organization the schools hired to oversee how they compete because they could never do it honestly on their own.

Beilein got burned by Biefelt's departure which he controlled. Now, he doesn't want Spike going to Indiana and Coach Harbaugh's brother-in-law's team, losing a guy to Tom Crean for a second straight year. But if he didn't want that to happen he should have made some other arrangement. Spike has earned his departure because Beiein hasn't earned the right to block it from happening, other than to claim a prohibition on where Spike can go, which is neither fair nor proper.

The fact is, Beilei's team looked lost on the floor and played games at a time without any heart or mental toughness during the past season. Not having Spike available clearly hurt. But Spike has served this program well, and now it's time for him to go and play wherever he wants without this coach blocking his choice of destination. Until Beilein changes his own internal politicies about retaining fifth year players, which, by the way, is the same policy of our football coach, he can't deny a player's choice just because he doesn't like where he may end up and competing against him.


March 31st, 2016 at 9:04 AM ^

I'm getting tired of this.  This was SPIKE'S choice.  He chose to hang it up just before the 30% rule kicked in, knowing he's get an extra year.  He held a "retirement" press conference knowing full well that he was going to transfer and continue playing.  He had his senior night.  He had four years at Michigan.  He, possibly, could have contributed on the floor for this team at some point near the end of the year, but he chose to hang it up the game before he'd pass the 30% threshold on purpose. Don't kid yourself.


March 31st, 2016 at 9:09 AM ^

absolutely no issue with Beilein doing this.  People are all of the sudden forgetting that Beilein is actually a really good guy who has never shown anything but complete support of his players and who routinely accepts blame that is not rightly his and deflects praise to the players even when he should accept it as his. 

This anti-Beilein movement is wrong and misguided.  Spike wanted to play next year.  He is not going to be playing much here so he decided to go elsewhere.  He was "granted his release" by Michigan, not "kicked to the curb" by Michigan.  He got a degree and was an integral part of the program,  Now he is moving on.  If that can't be to Iowa or Purdue, so beat it.  This is a big boy sport.

People around here need to stop with this Beilein hate and tell Pat Forde where to stick it.  This is a good basketball coach and one that shows respect to the process and to the players and this shit is getting ridiculous.


March 31st, 2016 at 11:28 AM ^

I think it's perfectly fine for players to be restricted from transferring within the conference. Like Beilein said, there are 300+ other schools he can transfer to with no issue. There's really no reason that he needs to transfer to another program that Michigan is going to play once, twice, or more next year and give them all kinds of tips and inside information on Michigan's preferences, terminology, etc.


March 31st, 2016 at 11:20 AM ^

had Rudock tried to transfer within Iowa's division, but knowing that he was going to Michigan and Iowa wasn't expected to play them, he didn't attempt to place any restrictions on his transfer, but go on believing what you want. 

Plenty of people who were at the Michigan-Indiana bball games this year could hear Max calling out our plays as we were running them, but I guess Beilein is a fool for not wanting to have to deal with that again if Spike were in a similar situation.


March 30th, 2016 at 9:16 PM ^

Yeah, something's wrong with the b-ball program. I don't know if JB just got too old over the past couple of years or if the assistants started going maverick and JB didn't have the disposition to rein them in, but something's wrong. The way the Jackson recruitment was handled, Winston, Spike, Doyle's regression, even going back to Max... something ain't right.


March 30th, 2016 at 10:24 PM ^

JB just made the tournament with a roll of duct tape, two screws and a bag of assorted nuts and washers. Oh, and he did it without the best player on the team who wasn't just the best scoerer or rebounder. Caris made everything go and the team went into the season planning on him being there. Then all of a sudden you have 2 experienced juniors and a bunch of sophomores/freshmen that hadn't seen much time. Less than 20% off college teams make the tournement and Beilein did it without his best player and his 6th/7th man. 

Get some perspective. The guy missed one tournament in 6 years, got to the finals and got to the elite 8 with 2 Big Ten Championships in there. All of this while hemorraging guys who you plan on having for at least 3 years, if not 4 (Stauskas and Burke). I think the guys earned a right to have a bad year when he also fought energies and freshmen due to the above reasons and then a year to get back on track. I thought Dakich should have been parked and he should have rolled with Mo from about midseason on but some of you act as if Michigan is Duke and should never have an off year. I have news. They aren't and they will. Off year #2 that everyone is so disappointed in ended in a tourney bid. Get over it. If you were offered that without Spike and Caris before the season, you would have taken it. 

Now, I don't agree with the restriction. If he's not good enough for you, you shouldn't be scared of him playing with you. I will say it gets a little stickier when you start talking about how he could help another team from an information standpoint. 


March 30th, 2016 at 10:31 PM ^

Don't forget McGary. We counted on having him in 2013-2014 and didn't, but we won the B1G and made the Elite Eight anyway.

I'm not thrilled with the way the season went and I think we should try to swing for the fences on hiring Beilein's success after he retires, but a lot of the criticisms of him are over the top. 


March 30th, 2016 at 11:19 PM ^

I left him out because it was reasonable to think, as a recruit, he could be a one and done. He may have been the only one I would say that at the time he committed looked like a two year or less guy. Burke, Stauskas, Hardaway and Robinson all looked like at least three year guys when they committed. Robinson blew up but clearly he should have stuck around. 

As a fan of another program (Iowa State) that has been a mediocre basketball program until recently and has had an awful football program for it's existence, it really irritates me when people complain about seasons that weren't all that bad especially if you consider the circumstances. Seriously, people need to step back and look at any team in the country, pull their best player off, take their best bench guard off, and then ask if Michigans result would be acceptable. I can think of maybe two teams that would definitely do better than Michigan (KU and Kentucky) under those circumstance. If you pull Allen of Duke, Niang of Iowa State, Valentine off MSU, Johnson off UNC, Brogden off UVA, etc, the results wouldn't be that much different. Then factor in he wasn't just 20 points a game, but more like 35 with his assist output, not to mention the other teams defensive focus and his own defense. That doesn't even take into account the experience issues and Spike. 

I also think people really don't understand that when halfway through a guys season (Stauskas) you realize he could go pro, you don't have time to replace that. Basketball recruiting takes place to early to make that turn at Michigan or any other school save about 5 of them. Michigan is even tougher because of JUCO policy. SO, then you have to replace him the next year and you're counting on a freshman. Hell, Beilein being able to go grab MAAR is a case for him. That kid is going to be really, really good when all is said and done. 


March 30th, 2016 at 11:37 PM ^

Listen, I'm not saying _everything_ is wrong. I'm just saying _something_ is.

Yes, we made the tourney. Yes, we're doing better than the team coached by a goblin. Yes, there's no guarantee anyone we get would be better than JB. I'm not arguing that.

I'm just saying that something is off. Maybe for you, one thing here or there going wrong doesn't even register. Maybe for you, winning a game (sort of) in the NCAAs each year is plenty good enough. That's fair.

But compared to a top-tier, elite program, something is definitely clunking in M's program. If you look at the way various recruitments have gone - Jackson, Battle, Winston, et al - you'll see it. Too many rumors about missed chances, poor handling, not 'getting it,' and so on.

And the comments about kids moving on early - please. That's the NCAA's basketball world right now. You have to deal with it. We're not - at least not all of it, and not enough for me.

Steve in PA

March 31st, 2016 at 11:42 AM ^

The mistake of forcing Max out for no one and now this looks bad. This business with Spike looks bad. No tournament last year and only making it this year because of Louisville & SMU does not help his cause.  There's a new AD that happens to come from a very good basketball school.  That AD will certainly "know" more basketball people than many of his predecessors and have knowledge of what successful basketball programs need to do.

I'm not seeing JB get fired but he may be retiring earlier than expected.


March 31st, 2016 at 9:30 AM ^

tell you what is off and it will be corrected with a year or two.  Beilein got a really good class in 2012, one that he is not used to getting and one where every player ended up being as good or better than advertised.  He 1) had never recruited that kind of talent, and 2) did not become equiped overnight to completely understand the process of continuing to recruit elite talent, 3) was not ready for the roster turnover that came about.  This was new terrain for Beilein and he did not handle it all that well.  He would likely admit as much.

When he lost Battle, he filled up the tank with whatever he could find because we needed bodies and this created a log jam at certain positions.  He did this with complete belief that Levert would be gone after his Junior year and that Spike would be gone after this year.  Things did not break his way on a couple of things.  Water is finding its level.  The class we have coming in next year will kind of be a "vintage" Beilein class and things will even out and calm down.


March 31st, 2016 at 10:00 AM ^


...but the key question is that if/when we do "even out" will that be good enough?

It seems from your assertion that we got good only when we got ridiculously good players (you mentioned the 2012 class as an example). And that JB wasn't prepared for it or understood how to handle it. That's alarming IMO. From that, I extrapolate your information to mean that "evening out" means middle of the road big ten team with a flash of random greatness from time to time. I don't think that will cut it.

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March 31st, 2016 at 10:12 AM ^

think it will be better than that.  I think that roster consideration have resulted in "mental clutter" for Beilein.  I don't think he has been focussing as much on coaching because he has been trying to make sense of his personnel.  Granted, he essentially brought it on himself, but I don't think it is representative of what will be a lasting problem.  Think 2017-2018 right now:

PG Xavier/RAWK 

SG Robinson/RAWK/Watson

SF  Poole/Dawk/Watson

PF  Dawk/Recruit to be named

C    Donnall/Wagner/Teske

That is a well balanced roster with plenty of talent.  I think that Beilein has been distracted by roster management due to some miscalculations and unforeseen circumstances.  I think he will bring in the right help to make sure it doesn't happen again.  I think we will be a top 4-5 BIg team who routinely makes the tournmanet and visits the second weekend.  I think Beilein will coach another 7-8 years, at Michigan.


March 31st, 2016 at 10:20 AM ^


I agree, its balanced, but not particularly talented IMO. We'll see how he recruits going forward, but I don't really see us being any better than 3-4 in the big ten. That gets into the tournament every year which is good, but I still see a very stale program going forward. We can do better than this.

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March 31st, 2016 at 10:29 AM ^

or not, the basketball team will continue to play second fiddle to the football team.  Really, the last time the basketball team made a push to become a truly elite program it ended up with crippling sanctions that tarnished the university and the athletic program.  John Beilein was likely given a set of mandates and a set of goals when he was hired.  Number 1 on both lists was 1) DON'T LET THAT HAPPEN AGAIN, and do your best to make this team as good as possible  As long as he follows those rules his job will not be in jeopardy.  I, for one, expect him to rebound pretty well the next couple of years with some pretty good teams.


March 31st, 2016 at 10:55 AM ^

I agree that the basketball team will always be second to the football team. You seem to also be saying that the basketball team can't be elite without assuming various large risks, including embarrassing the school and crippling the basketball program itself. I disagree with that.

Is it hard to have both functioning at an elite level? Hell yeah. But we're Michigan. We've done it before - we had an elite program before the Fab Five that didn't bring sanctions - and we can do it again.

I also disagree that as long as JB avoids sanctions and does his best, his job won't be in jeopardy. "Do your best" doesn't cut it. He's got to have results. Are the current level of results enough? Maybe for Manuel, they are. But if he went 0-season without running afoul of the NCAA and while doing his best, his job would still be (more than) in jeopardy.


March 31st, 2016 at 11:08 AM ^

that the risks are greater for the Michigan basektball program than they are for most others.  The Ed Martin scandal was a very big "first strike," I would hate to see what the second one would look like.  I think that the Michigan athletic administration believes they have exactly who they want to run the program and that they have no objection whatsover to how he is running it. (I think they would like him to go ahead and get the roster sorted out and that is his primary focus right now.  My guess is that Manuel has already had a "dude WTF?" conversation with Beilein regarding this very issue). 

I also am astonished at how short the memories are around here regarding the basketball program.  This is not a "slumping" or "stale" program, it is one with a NCG appearance, two BIG titles and almost another FF within the last five years and a pretty strong class coming in.  Things are going to be fine if people can stop freaking the F out for like 10 minutes.


March 31st, 2016 at 11:03 AM ^

I don't think our basketball program will ever be truly elite for a few reasons, one of which is we don't go into the recruiting muck that is basketball recruiting. When we did, look what happened, to your point. "Consistently good," is totally and completely fine with me, as well as realistic. These people that demand greatness from basketball and rip Belein for not achieving it are way off base.


March 31st, 2016 at 12:32 PM ^

...and I could use a healthy dose of it.  The one thing I will say is that while I agree that bball will play second fiddle to fball, it has ABSOLUTELY NO impact on whether the bball can be elite as well.   I mean look at MSU.

Not specifically calling you out ijohnb, but too many people on here give excuses as to why this program can't be better.  To me, it's hogwash.  We can be better than this.


March 31st, 2016 at 12:54 PM ^

don't buy into the idea that the program is in bad shape or going in the wrong direction. In the last 15 years, we have been to one NCG.  Do you want to know who else has been in one NCG in the last 15 years?  Michigan State.  The regionally dominant basketball program of this century has been to 1 National Championship game since the year 2000.  And they got smoked.  Nobody, Nobody is calling for Tom izzo's job.  Last five years, we have been to a Final Four, a NCG and an elite 8.  That is better than the last 5 years at Michigan State.  Both programs lost in the first round on the NCAA tourney this year.  Essentially, we are playing on par with the dominant college basketball program in the region.  I will take it every day of the week and twice on Sunday.


March 31st, 2016 at 11:39 AM ^

top 4-5 B1G team who maybe makes it to the sweet 16 1x or 2x in the next 8 years? not painting a pretty picture for the future of the program. Who other than MSU (ugh) should be above us? Maybe IU, but they have their own coaching issues.


March 31st, 2016 at 11:49 AM ^

4-5 BIG team who makes it to the Sweet 16 1 or 2 times in the next 8 years.  You just described every basketball team in the BIG not named Michigan State.  Perhaps those runs go deep into the tourney, perhaps they are Final Four runs.  Then does it look so bad? What exactly do you think the program should be, and what, historically, makes you believe it should be that?


March 31st, 2016 at 12:37 PM ^

...but haven't OSU and Wisconsin performed better than that.  If you want to conceded basketball domiance to MSU and OSU in the big ten, then fine (although, I'm not fine with it), but can we at least be better than Wisconsin?!


March 31st, 2016 at 3:23 PM ^

Why is Michigan ordained to be better than Wisconsin? I'm trying to think of a single real advantage Michigan has. Inferior facility, worse record over the last 15 years, the fabled "resouces" argument is complete nonsense. History? I guess. But current students and recruits were born almost 8 years after the Fab Five played at Michigan. That's 25 years ago, and it was followed by a scandal and exile. The more meaningful history is 18 straight NCAA appearances, 3 Final Fours, the only school in the country to make the Sweet 16 5 times in the last 6 years and in each of the last 3, finishing in the top 4 in the B1G 15 straight years and a head to head record against your current coach that's like 15-2. Following two straight Final Fours they lost 5 of their top players (3 to the NBA), their longtime coach to mid season retirement, started out 9-9 while playing 4 freshmen and starting a walk-on but still made a run to the Sweet 16. They'll be preseason top 10 next year. In other words, the program has had no downswings, even with significant adversity/attrition following the highest of the highs.     

Wisconsin has been the better program for a long time. I have no idea how this can be news to you.