Report: Larson may not be able to accept a Big Ten offer

The Quad City Times is reporting that former Iowa signees Cody Larson and Ben Brust may not be able to accept scholarship offers from fellow Big Ten schools because of a transfer rule. This, obviously, would be a problem for Indiana. The Hoosier coaching staff visited Larson last Sunday. Larson could still join the Hoosiers, but he’d have to pay his own way. He and Brust do plan to appeal to the Big Ten according to the story.


  1. If Crean visited Larson last weekend he must feel there is a chance that the B-10 will waive the rule. I believe that other B-10 schools are seeking Larson and Brust. I wonder, since they never enrolled if that makes a difference?

  2. I believe Iowa can keep them from receiving scholarship money for one year if they decided to play hard ball. They would not lose any eligibility. It’s not really in anyone’s best interest but that doesn’t keep them from doing it. It’s just a way to try to force them to stay.
    The irony of athletic scholarships, particularly for basketball, is that many of these kids come from poor inner city families and they would qualify for a full ride based on need if they were already accepted to the school. Most athletes in non revenue sports are getting need based or academic aid.

  3. I don’t get it. There is no transfer rule that should be in effect here. They haven’t set foot on the Iowa campus to take any classes. They aren’t transferring from Iowa! They just want out of their LOI to look at other schools.

    I think Iowa is the one holding up this process.

  4. Wrong. Iowa released Larson from his LOI meaning he can reopen his recruiting process. The transfer rule is a Big 10 rule. Iowa is not holding up this process.

  5. Not because of this issue alone but the Big 10 needs to get with the program and change this rule or a portion of it! If a kid signs a LOI and the coach changes before he starts school he should be free to go anywhere he chooses! These kids usually choose the school because of the coach! This sounds like something from Russia not the free world?????????

  6. Hammer-

    Darn good point there. It is an arcane rule. It’s not like Larson was being wishy-washy and changed his mind.

  7. This type of rule is not exclusive to the B-10. If I’m not mistaken all of the major conferences have similar rules.
    When the quarterback now at Purdue decided to transfer from Miami, the university would not allow him to transfer to another ACC school or to any major Florida university.
    Is it a free world, not where the LOI is concerned. Read a LOI, which I doubt many athletes really do. It is binding.

  8. I chuckled when I read the comment about Russia. Maybe in the old Soviet Union days. These days it sounds more like a provision of the Patriot Act.
    The whole system strips the kids of most of their rights. While its easy to say, “Well, look at the sweet deal the kids get,” as the commercial says, most athletes are going professional in something other than sports. The non-revenue kids better choose the right school the first time or they have problems.
    Here’s how screwed up it can get. Most non-revenue athletes get just a little athletic dept. money. The school puts together a ‘package’ to entice the kid there. Once there, there is nothing in place to protect the athlete other than the threat to transfer, sit out a year with no aid, and start all over again and hope some money comes your way. If a coach thinks the family has the “means” to pick up the tab, you’re gonna pick up the tab.
    Here is how it played out in our family. All my kids are/were non-revenue sport collegiate athletes. One has graduated. He was a walk on. Decent career, no money, no complaints, good experience. Competed for 2 years and called it a day. One is at an Ivy League school, so there’s no athletic money anyway and we knew it going in. Another was the stud athlete. Everybody’s Blue Chipper. He was enticed with assurances that athletic money followed performance. Make the lineup, win some matches, the money will come. Last year he came within 2 matches of the schools record for wins in a season. He won the regular season championship and the conference tourney (easily). He made it to the third round of the NCAA D1 Championships, thumping Big Ten athletes along the way. No one else on the team came close to his performance. The next month the coach informed him he would receive $2000 in athletic money the next year, total. Have a nice day. “Your Mom and Dad can afford it” (actual statement). We are middle class working professionals. The worst part, for us, was that there are kids on the team getting a full ride. WTF? The coach had the nerve to say that HE was a little disappointed in my son as his plan was for him to be awarded a full academic fellowship and he was getting a few ‘B’s in his very tough curriculum. Damn, sorry about that ‘B’ in Caculus IV coach.
    The point of all this is, don’t picture the kids as driving all this process. Except for a few kids in the headlines most kids just have an exceptionally hard work-study job with no security whatsoever. Athletics is about the sport. About the competition. It’s not a good way to finance college.

  9. Chet- I was about to say something about Russia too, but I figured I’d leave that one for another day.

    That’s some story. Can I ask what the sport was?

  10. Chet,
    Sorry your son’s experience has not been all that great.
    Division 1 universities can legally have 9.9 full scholarship athletes on the wrestling team roster. I say legally because finances at some universities may limit that number to less. So the aid available can be confusing.
    My college experience was very satisfying and on a full athletic scholarship. One daughter played softball and then golf at a private division 1 university and had very little debt when she graduated. So not all stories are all that bad.
    Once again, I was sorry to read your story.

  11. HT, Milport was correct, the story was about wrestling and he is also correct that, if fully funded a school can have 9.9 scholarships for the 25-45 kids they probably have on the team. You know the old line about, when they say, “It’s not about the money then it’s about the money.” Really, it’s not. He’s at a good state school and he went there with no guarantees other than ‘do well and we’ll come through.’ He’ll graduate and go on with life and, the coach is right, we can afford it. Plus I have some cool pictures of him wrestling, and even winning some, at the NCAA Championships. What more can a Dad ask for? The point simply was, the kids don’t have much in the way of rights in the process.
    I have coached many years in middle and high school and I’ve ushered my own 3 kids and many others into college school sports. Here’s the bottom line. Don’t count on athletic scholarships to go to college if you’re not John Wall. If you want to compete, you can probably get a shot. If you have no money for college, fear not, you are the most likely candidate to get scholarship money. Seriously, if you and your parents don’t have two nickels to rub together you can probably go to any school in the country because the overwhelming majority of the financial aid money in the system is need based. Anyone who thinks they cannot go to college because they do not have any money needs to have a financial aid representative explain to them how the system works. The money is there if you’re rich and the money is there if you’re poor. In the big picture it’s probably for the best, but like so many things in life, it doesn’t always seem fair to those of us in the middle class.
    No need to feel sorry for anyone, but I appreciate the sentiment. It’s been a glorious ride so far and I get to see my beautiful Amazon-like daughter compete sometime next month for the first time in college (my first time, not hers).
    In closing, I have some parental advice for anyone hoping their kids will one day become college athletes. Don’t push them. Make opportunities available if THEY want to try something but don’t don’t try to pile stuff on their plates thinking it will help. Always, I repeat ALWAYS show up. Cheer, but not too loudly. Never argue with the refs (which will go against every male cell in your body). Applaud their performance but not too much. Applaud their teammates even more and make sure they understand how important they are. Don’t tolerate bad sportsmanship even if you agree with their point (and you will). Lastly, and most importantly, enjoy and appreciate the privilege you are being given to watch your healthy and able child perform on the athletic field and cherish every moment. Never take the attitude that you are somehow being forced to sacrifice something so that they can compete. You’re lucky to be there.

  12. Chet,
    I agree with you about handling children and their involvement in athletics.
    College athletics is big business. To me that is the message that too many people lose sight of. That doesn’t make it right, certainly not a democracy, but it is a fact. You said that your son was a “blue chpper” is it possible that was not exactly true? I am not trying to put you down or start an argument but this a problem that many parents experience. High school coaches are criticized, even fired, for not having enough athletes obtain scholarhsips. Some coaches may not try hard enough, true. How many parents were at fault, or wrong in their assessment of their children or the sport they want to pursue?
    I’ll say it again. I am sorry that your son has had some problems. I’ll also say it again I am not trying to put you down or start and argument.

  13. Millport, being a BC in a non revenue sport doesn’t really mean anything except for a handful of extraordinary kids, which I would not imply. Just a big fish in a small pond (our region), nothing more. I didn’t mean for it to sound like I thought he was some sort of amazing athlete, just that he was actively recruited and had more than one choice of schools. There’s not that much recruiting in wrestling except for a handful of guys. I shouldn’t have used the term as it may have obscured the point. Perhaps I also wasn’t clear in that he went to school with no promise of anything other than what he earned while he was there. We never sought out schools or scholarships and, quite frankly, I never really cared if he competed in college or not. It adds a lot of stress to a person’s life and I’m a low stress guy. I only wanted to share our experience. I have no ax to grind with the school, coach, or sport. I wish them all well. I liked his coach beforehand and I like him now. My son’s accomplishments stand on their own merit. Describe them however you wish. As far as being a ‘blue chip’ or a ‘5 star’ or whatever you want to call them, at least as far as wrestling or track (what my kids competed in) the terms are meaningless. I understand that in basketball and football there is more effort put into the rankings but my experience has been that an unranked walk on is nearly as likely to be successful as a so called ‘blue chipper’. Now, if you are at Iowa with a room full of studs at practice every day things are different. They are starting the season thinking they are going to be national champions. My son is a solid competitor that was always ranked in the NWCA top 20 (he’s redshirting this year)and when he decides to hang up his shoes the strongest emotion I will feel will be relief. To be brutally honest I don’t enjoy the competition in college all that much.

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