Indiana Basketball – Jeremiah April transfer shows coaches should be punished for transfer levels

by Kent Sterling

Jeremiah April is the latest transfer from Indiana.

Jeremiah April is the latest transfer from Indiana.

As Indiana had again oversigned recruits for the incoming freshman class, it was clear that a few Hoosiers would need to either transfer or declare for the NBA Draft.  Jeremiah April seemed a logical choice, and he cooperated by announcing last week that he would jump ship.

April joins freshman Max Hoetzel and sophomore Stanford Robinson as former Hoosiers.

After speculating that he might have been “Creaned” (a term used to describe a coach forcing a player from the program in order to recoup a scholarship needed for a player who might be able to help the team achieve an improved result the following season), I was told by someone who would know at Indiana that April chose to leave on his own.

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While that’s better than Indiana coach Tom Crean shoving April out the door, the question of why April was recruited at all remains.

Last Spring, Indiana had three scholarships to give because of the transfers of Austin Etherington and Peter Jerkin, and Noah Vonleh declaring for the NBA, and the resulting search produced the 6’10” April and 6’9″ Tim Priller, along with graduate transfer Nick Zeisloft from Illinois State.

According to Rivals, Priller had one D-1 offer (from Illinois-Chicago) and April’s page shows none.  Nothing against either of these young men, but who on Indiana’s staff thought that either would contribute at a level expected of a big man at Indiana?

April’s highlight tape begins with two made free throws and is peppered with blocks against players sometimes a full head shorter, and Priller’s uses a won jump ball in the first :12.  Not exactly eye popping stuff.

I understand a coach who is fighting for his job refusing to allow scholarships to remain dormant throughout a season.  No one ever won a game because of a shorter bench.  As far as April and Priller deciding to accept Indiana’s offer, I can’t blame them.  If someone offered to overpay me by several times my value, I would take their money.

If Crean explained to both that their scholarships would be evaluated after their freshman year, I’m good with that too.  But if during this era when Indiana is guaranteeing scholarships for a full four years, they were brought to Bloomington only to be churned out the next Spring, that’s a miserable way to run a program or business.

April decided last week that he would leave, and Priller is still in Bloomington after logging 23 total minutes of game action to go along with April’s 17.  If April wasn’t pushed, that’s great, but how could anyone expect a kid with a ticking eligibility clock to respond to that level of non-use by staying put.

I hope Priller sticks it out.  He’s an enthusiastic kid, and remaining a Hoosier – if it’s in his control to do so – will pay professional dividends down the road.  And maybe it brings a level of consequence for Crean that his offer deserves.

When coaches and pundits grouse about the high percentage of transfers in men’s college basketball, they need to take into account the number of players who either opt out or are pushed out by coaches who make mistakes as they over sign and over offer a wide array of players so scholarships are all utilized.

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It’s not the system’s fault that April was recruited at a level far above his capabilities, and if Priller goes, the same assessment applies.

There are a lot of reasons for players jumping programs, and quite a few begin and end with irresponsible and occasional duplicitous choices that are made by coaches.  If you want to reduce the number of transfers, penalize the players AND the coaches – not just the players.

As long as transfer rules are influenced heavily by the coaches who then exploit them for their own selfish purposes, it will be the student-athletes who bear the brunt of coaches irresponsibly extending offers that are impossible to resist.

9 thoughts on “Indiana Basketball – Jeremiah April transfer shows coaches should be punished for transfer levels

  1. DownTheStretch

    Am I the only one who finds it very coincidental that Jeremiah’s epiphany that he wouldn’t be playing much next year took place AFTER Yogi announced that we was coming back, and thus caused IU’s roster to be over-signed by one! I really don’t think it would take a kid six weeks (based on our last game on March 20) to come to this decision. Here was Crean’s exact quote:

    “Jeremiah informed us earlier of his desire to seek a different situation for himself,” IU coach Tom Crean said in the release. “He would like an increased role and we are not able to ensure him this would happen. Our hope is that he
    will reach his potential wherever he chooses to go.”

    Let me translate to English this Creanspeak: “I spoke at length with Jeremiah earlier today and informed him that he had been Creaned. Since once again I have trouble counting to thirteen, we no longer have a spot for him on our roster. We appreciate him being a practice dummy these past eight months and wish him well.”

    1. Rb

      You must be mistaken, Fred Glass is too smart and always looks out for the student athlete. Ps I see in USA today Arizona state’s AD just hired Hurley as their new basketball coach and their baseball team is highly ranked after hiring iu’s old baseball coach, I hope iu makes the big ten baseball tournament.

    2. Matterhorn

      This is from the US Army’s code of values.

      Integrity-Do what’s right, legally and morally. Integrity is a quality you develop by adhering to moral principles. It requires that you do and say nothing that deceives others. As your integrity grows, so does the trust others place in you. The more choices you make based on integrity, the more this highly prized value will affect your relationships with family and friends, and finally, the fundamental acceptance of yourself.

      Tom Crean has zero.

      1. RB

        Boy, you hit it out of the park! That’s exactly what’s wrong with IU athletics, but everybody is afraid to say it!

      2. DownTheStretch

        It sure explains his comfort level with bringing in Coach Bellicheat to talk to the team.

  2. Brendon

    While I agree that there should be some sort of punishment, I’m not sure how to carry it out.
    The problem is that the teams that have the most transfers, also have the most graduates.

    You shouldn’t punish guys who have the most graduates

  3. hgdownunder

    Remember when the oversign was justified as a way of coping with unforeseen contingencies? An aid to roster management? A way to allow Crean to cope with departures|?

    In spite of the use of this tool:
    in 2014 we had no shooters
    in 2015 we had no center
    Thank heaven Yogi is back since it would mean in 2016 we would have no point guard. (But what’s that? Robert Johnson would be the point guard in that case. A high turnover freshman stretches into the sophomore point guard. We saw how well stretching forwards into centers worked. There are just specialist roles that need specialists in them! )

  4. Matterhorn

    If you all want a really good laugh go to Inside the Hall and read the archive from Jeremiah April signed last year and then read the over 200 comments!!! Stuff is class would have thought IU was signing Alan Henderson. I can’t take much more.

    1. Bull

      Dear Matterhorn, I enjoyed your comment on integrity. Shard it with friends in Social Media. We are Indiana and will always be held to a higher standard. hope we live up to that? by the way, where did April transfer to? Cheers


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