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Tim Floyd's rants about college basketball transfers; what did he get right & wrong?

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A look at Tim Floyd's long rant against a reporter - and what he said about college basketball mobility/ transfers along the way.

UTEP v UNLV Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

UTEP head coach Tim Floyd's rant is still sticking with me, so... take a half hour and watch it. Basically, Floyd has taken serious umbrage with the characterization of his program by a local radio sports talk host. There's a conversation about information and access here, but Floyd drops some cluster bombs about college basketball, too.

He came prepared with a sheet of notes and quotes from other college basketball coaches. And 17 pages to hand out to the media members assembled.

High points

  • Floyd calls out how his team isn't the only one to lose players to transfer; and how that alone isn't a reason to ask whether he can relate to current players.
  • He also calls out how programs put out feelers for players who are eligible to be grad transfers - sometimes through AAU coaches. This lines up with what I have heard and... well, more on that in a bit.
  • He also talks about how the impression of players leaving the program is inaccurate because even when a player says they have committed doesn't mean the coach has accepted commitments (these are two-sided agreements). Additionally, UTEP's ability to use Prop 48 to bring in partial qualifiers means that the school also may have some student-athletes who can't handle the student side, and those players leave.
  • And Conference USA is, as he says in the video, in a strange spot - the kind of place where a player who is really good could want to try their hand at something bigger and better, but also where a player who washes out has a lot of lower-level Division-1 schools to go to.

Now, for a coach who is decrying the seeming lack of honor involved in players decommitting/ transferring, Floyd sure hit some low points too.

Low points

  • Way to call out the low per-game production of two of the guys who transferred out of the UTEP program, Tim Floyd. Kind of vindictive and bitter move, especially since some of that has to do with Floyd not PLAYING those guys. If they're not good enough to play for him, maybe that's on the player for not fighting into the lineup, maybe it's on the coach for not coaching them up. But in either case, perhaps he should just wish them well as they find a program and a coach who works better with their games. Players may be making mistakes by leaving - but the could also make a mistake by staying.
  • On that same level, personally, I have little problem with players transferring. For one, consider that Tim Floyd jumped from Iowa State to the NBA's Chicago Bulls, leaving players like Marcus Fizer (and commits Kirk Hinrich and Nick Collison). For a coach talking about players hearing about new opportunities through feelers, the OJ Mayo affair, where he reportedly personally paid Mayo's handler to get him to USC.
  • For two, the old-school view is that the coach can be intense and push and have the players' best interest at heart. But not all coaches are open-minded to a player changing, growing and developing, especially if it doesn't fit that coach's framework of what growth looks like. Some players and coaches just don't get along; and for a school in UTEP's strata of college basketball, maybe Floyd takes some guys who aren't quite what he wants, players who are desperately looking for opportunity. Sometimes, that won't be a fit.
  • Also, way to mention a player he backed off from, who still hasn't committed to a school.
  • Also "millennial culture" yammering is very, very tired. He brings up how young people these days have multiple jobs in the course of their first five years (I think it was). Well, it's important to note that there aren't factory lifer jobs anymore where someone is set with a pension for a long time - there are post-college internships, short-term gig-economy jobs, seasonal jobs, and unstable situations for anyone stepping into the work world without a professional degree (& sometimes with a professional degree). Players switching schools reflects the uncertainty of worklife as we know it.
  • By the way, one of the players that transferred from UTEP that Floyd mentioned had already gone to three high schools, so, you know, Floyd knew he had brought in a player who wasn't content with sticking in one place (there's a correlation between multiple high schools and college transferring.)

Watch it yourself. Start at about 6:30 or so when it starts getting hot.

Your take on Floyd's words?