April will transfer, IU back at scholarship limit #iubb

Indiana announced Friday afternoon that freshman center Jeremiah April has requested a release and plans to transfer from the school at the conclusion of the spring semester.

April, a 6-foot-11 center from Westwind Prep in Arizona, appeared in only four games for the Hoosiers and never became the low post reserve option that IU coaches hoped he could be when they offered him a scholarship late last spring.

Indiana, which was oversigned by one after the addition of five-star center Thomas Bryant, is now at the NCAA scholarship limit of 13 for the 2015-16 season.

“Jeremiah informed us earlier of his desire to seek a different situation for himself,” IU coach Tom Crean said in a statement. “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.”

April missed all five games of IU’s trip to Canada in August while he dealt with an ankle injury. The injury lingered into preseason workouts and April never carved out a niche in a thin Indiana frontcourt.

When starting center Hanner Mosquera-Perea went down with a knee injury in mid-January, a door was opened for April to potentially see more minutes as the Hoosiers marched into the heart of Big Ten play. But April saw only three minutes of action during conference season, the entirety of which came during a rout at Rutgers on Feb. 22.

In January, Crean called April’s lack of playing time an issue of work ethic.

“Jeremiah’s got to work harder,” Crean said in response to a caller’s question on one of his weekly radio shows. “He’s got to work harder on his own. He’s gotta work harder in building his skills. That’s the bottom line, but he’s getting better, and anytime you have the ability to get better like that and make those strides, then you want to see that work ethic pick up even more.”

All told, April played a total of 17 minutes at IU. Prior to committing, April also received interest from Marquette, Washington State and Arizona State.

“I want to thank coach Crean and his staff for the opportunity and support and for helping me improve my game,” April said in a statement. “My goal is to go somewhere I can have a bigger role. I’ll miss my teammates. They are a great group of guys.”

51 comments

  1. this dude could’nt get any playin time with the lack of size they had that speaks volumes he just isn’t very good i hope he finds a place at a mid major or low major

  2. Absolutely no surprise here. People will chalk this up to “Creaning”, but in fact this was an opportunity for a young man to try and make the grade at a high profile division 1 basketball team. In the end it did not work out thus proving why he wasn’t heavily recruited. I wish him luck. He represented the university well. Fans just need to realize the reality of the situation and the end result shouldn’t be shocking to anyone.

  3. Yep, it won’t take long for the tired old accusations that this kid is the latest victim of “Creaning.” Crean’s critics will gnash their teeth and rip their clothes in anguish as they mourn the loss of April. In time, he will be transformed into another high-potential player whose life and career was ruined by Tom Crean’s cruel and insensitive disregard for his players.

    On the other hand, if a coach has an open scholarship, has need for a certain type of player, and offers that scholarship to a young man with potential in hopes of giving the kid a chance to better himself. If it does not work out, why is that criticized? “You miss 100% of the shots you never take.” Consider college football coaches offering opportunities to young men to be walk-ons. If, after a year or two of development, the coaches decide that the kid just doesn’t have what it takes to play college football for their team, and they cut him, why is that any different that what Crean does? At least Crean’s players who decide to transfer get a full scholarship for a year or two!

  4. Weird, but I’m happy that this means we have room for Priller next year. Every college team needs that ‘fan favorite’ who gets a few minutes here and there, and who fans identify as their ‘everyman,’ ‘regular guy’ favorite.

  5. Lol Priller fate will be decided by Thon Maker or another potential recruit. It’s the same story as April why don’t people get that?

  6. It’s funny how a one-and-done NBA “promotion” is just fine when it’s on the one-and-done’s terms. But when it’s a “one-and-done” demotion because you can’t cut the talent grade, it’s a horrible thing. If our “exceptional’ children see no reason to honor a commitment, why should we, as adults, feel a need to honor one “not-so-quickly exceptional” the same? The key is identifying what’s exceptional and to keep this “honor” your initial infatuations and patience malarkey out of the equation. It’s out of the equation for the 18-year-old and there’s no reason patience and words of commitment should live in the adult world.

  7. So April made some friends at IU…Go cry about it. Don’t they have Facebook for friends now? I realize the kid’s mom thought it was a calling from God when Tom Crean and Indiana called, but life is no fairytale. God sometimes dials the wrong number too.

  8. “The hard thing was just getting him (academically) cleared,” said Pamela Nailing, Jeremiah’s mother. “It was definitely a journey. Indiana came out of nowhere. We don’t know how they got his name. God did it.

    Nailing said that Washington State was ready to offer and Marquette and Arizona State came it. But it was too late. He also began to get strong interest from Oral Roberts.

    “We were not hearing from anyone,” Nailing said.

    April didn’t want to go the junior college route, and was ecstatic to get the Indiana offer.

    Nailing, a devout Christian, said she went on a 40-day fast, searching for answers on her son’s basketball recruiting.”(courtesy: indystar.com / Indiana is a dream come true for Jeremiah April /
    by Richard Obert, azcentral sports / 3:03 p.m. EDT / April 20, 2014

  9. Over signing players and transfers seems like IU’s one and done basketball thing these days. I don’t think it is right to continue a practice like this. Good luck JA wherever you land.

  10. Good move for both, considering April only ended up at IU because Crean was in a desperate situation. Priller is next. Crean is still looking to add one more component to the 2015 class and it would be amazing if it is Maker. IU basketball is looking much better for the upcoming season.

  11. I’m conflicted by moves like this. On the upside, I’m always wanting IU to get better — and Thomas Bryant makes us better than Jeremiah April ever would. On the downside, it just seems sleazy. I know other schools oversign all the time, but that doesn’t make it right. I wonder what came of Fred Glass’ “student-athletes Bill of Rights?” … What would’ve happened if April didn’t play nice and said “I don’t want to give up my scholarship?” I suppose that through the SID department, we’d still hear of plans to “transfer.” If you can’t sign the players you want, why not just leave the scholarship open for a year? I realize that’s not an easy proposition with only 13 available (as opposed to 15 — what it used to be), but no offense to April, he probably wasn’t a Big Ten-caliber player anyway. Even when Hanner got hurt and we had no bigs other than Holt, April didn’t get a sniff of PT.

  12. For all those who accept these transfers as part of basketball perhaps your right but I lean to Hoosier Daddy’s concern. I am not so blind I do not understand the viability of a player transferring in college basketball but this has markings of a coach making too many recruiting mistakes in the first place and then trying to make up for by finding someone better to replace that mistake. Syracuse fans are saying ole Jim did not really do anything wrong and Kentucky fans will tell you everyone does one and done and besides they have two players on schedule to graduate sooner or later and UNC fans are saying it is not as bad as they are making it and Ole Roy is a really good guy and on and on and on. Fans do not want to accept that anything the school they support could possibly be anything but wonderful. But Ben came the closest to the calling out the real truth when he said Priller is next when they find a BETTER recruit and that is the reality with IU basketball. You can tell me everyone does it and I just don’t get it but back it up with the name of any University that has had four transfers this spring and a total of eight in the last two seasons. I can assure you if this were another school we would all be pointing fingers at them and saying shame on them just as others are doing right now toward us. And Podunker I have no teeth to gnash and am too weak to rip shirts. It is just my opinion.

  13. Knight was accused of similar things all the time. Jason Collier, anyone? It was God’s designs that allowed April a shot at Indiana…I can’t now blame the fact it didn’t work out on Tom Crean… Maybe God has a different plan for Jeremiah. It’s easy to take the cynical pathway. Is it possible that April is simply recognizing he’s not ready for Big 10 Basketball…and walking away with pride in the fact he tried rather than anger in his heart?

  14. To you folks who think this is sleazy – did you ever consider that this was a decision that April made all by himself when it became apparent to him that he was likely to never exceed practice dummy minutes at IU? Why is it automatically sleazy?

  15. OldIUGymnast, you took the words right out of my fingers. The people questioning this practice always assume that Crean is the puppet master and that he is forcing these kids to transfer. Is it possible that these young adults decided on their own that they were not satisfied and throughout they could do better elsewhere? If a coach approaches a player and says, “Look, your performance a development have not met our expectations. You’re not working hard enough to get better. We’re moving forward with players that we believe give us a better chance to win. You’re not going to see any playing time. We think you would be better off and happier transferring to a school in a less competitive conference.” Why is that wrong? Why is that sleazy? The coach gave a kid a chance and it did not work out. He has not developed as everyone hoped it would. He has not worked as hard as he needed to. He is not meeting his supervisor’s expectations for either performance or effort, or both. Would it be better for the kid and the school to do all that work and dedicate all that time and never get to play? This is probably best for the young man, and after being confronted with the reality of his situation, he probably made the decision to transfer.

  16. But this wasn’t just about April…This was also about Max Hoetzel, Stan Robinson, and April all having to exit so the stars would align…..And it was about Etherington and Remy and Creek …and Roth…and Story…and Nick Williams…and Capobianco…and Peter Jurkin…and Bawa Maniru Let’s not single out April for being the only guy that couldn’t cut the “grade.” Indiana is not for everyone and scholarships available always have a way of working themselves out. I think Crean was actually very high on April…It’s likely he thought the voluntary movement of Robinson and Hoetzel was going to allow everything to remain in scholly balance…But then Yogi came back down to earth, didn’t declare for the NBA, and Crean was left between a rock and hard place. . How could April feel right stealing Yogi’s last season when Hoetzel and Robinson(two very talented players with high potential …and also personal favorites of coachv and Goeff respectively) already saw the light of not meeting the level a 2015-16 Hoosier grading? Did all these guys not love Indiana? Of course not. They just realized they weren’t good enough for the level of talent deciding to stay or slated to arrive this summer. They will find their way…Hoetzel will play some place like Oral Roberts…Stan might get a gig at somewhere like Ohio University…Is what it is.

    Do I recall reading somewhere that Duke didn’t even fill all their available scholarships last year? Wow. Now that’s sleazy. The guy gets so much sleazy talent, that he doesn’t need to worry about playing his roster like a discard pile in a game of cards. Sleazeball..goes and wins a championship without a full roster. The nerve.

  17. Weird, but I’m happy that this means we have room for Priller next year. Every college team needs that ‘fan favorite’ who gets a few minutes here and there, and who fans identify as their ‘everyman,’ ‘regular guy’ favorite.

    .

    kurk81-

    Great thoughs and I couldn’t agree more . It makes it fun..to have the Shaggy of Scooby-Doo…or the Gilligan that was the captain’s mate on the USS Minnow….or the Barney Fife of Mayberry USA…or the Rodney Dangerfield of a ‘Back to School’ flick.. And I’ve always been thankful we have enough room on our bench/sideline to get those ‘regular guys” we can all relate as part of an indelible sense of “I’ve got this” naivety and blind innocence for something bigger than making a “grade.”

  18. Harv, if it’s wrong, it’s wrong if the number of transfers is one or a dozen. If it’s not wrong, it does not matter how many players have transferred. Obviously, you and a few others think it’s wrong. But no one has answered my questions. Is it wrong for a college football coach to invite/encourage kids to walk-on to the team and then cut them a year or two later? Were those kids exploited, or were they simply given an opportunity to pursue their dream? Some of those walk-ons could have been starters at schools that play in a different division. That happens with much greater frequency than scholarship basketball players transferring to other schools! But I don’t recall hearing or reading anybody criticizing college football coaches about that common and long-standing practice! Is it wrong for Crean to give a marginal DI college talent a scholarship and a chance to develop his skills as a player while getting his education paid for? Would it be better for the kid, and/or for IU, if Crean withheld offers to those types of players? And I don’t believe for one minute that Crean orchestrated the transfers of all those young men that you referenced. Some of them made the decision on their own, without any coercion from Crean, for selfish reasons. Which is the way it should be. The players should be doing what’s in their best interest. In a perfect world, Crean and every other coach would only offer scholarships to superstar players, all of which would get plenty of playing time and graduate within four years. But it’s not a perfect world. Let’s say that some talented High School player comes to IU with expectations of being a starter as a freshman. Instead he’s a back-up and only gets to play about ten minutes a game. He believes he can be a starter on many other teams. He confronts his coaches with something like, “hey, why am I not starting or getting more minutes?” They tell him, “you’re not as good as the other guy. If you want to be a starter, you’re going to have to improve in these areas. We’ll help you do that, but you’re going to have to work really hard.” The kid is disappointed and still believes he could be a starter at some other school. He decides to transfer. Why is that the coach’s fault? Why is that wrong? It’s a two-way street and these young men are not helpless victims.

  19. i just think about the mom and where here thoughts are right now…I’ll never know if it’s wrong because I can’t get behind the motivations or truth, in terms of sincerity, in how these decisions are made and play out.

    It’s no different than anything spoken or typed into these boxes. Somebody may type it’s right but in their heart of hearts feel an uneasiness about how young people can be used and deceived until the next best thing comes along….That’s tough for a parent…especially one that was so committed into believing “God” brought her boy to Indiana. . I just don’t know what’s right or wrong anymore. I feel we mock some true innocence and level of faith that may be far more beautiful than anything a spirit i can believe…a mom’s faith in her boy.

  20. Harvard,
    You must not have paid much attention to Max and/or his family but I’m pretty sure that Oral Roberts/Liberty U/Bob Jones U (do they play basketball?) would be just about the last place on Earth that Max would end up playing for.

  21. Liberty has a basketball team. My friends brother has a partial basketball scholarship with Liberty.

  22. Ben,
    This isn’t a correction, this is just for discussion, but I think the NCAA has some weird rule for basketball and football in regard to scholarships. I’m pretty sure that in the ‘big two’ athletic scholarships are all or nothing. No partial scholarships. No splitting them between players as is common in the non-revenue sports. Maybe the HT guys can correct me.

    Usually when that reference is made it is a walk on player who they have secured other types of financial aid for, which I personally think is awesome.

  23. I’m not to sure about it myself. I’ll ask him though. I know Division II offers partial scholarships, but Liberty is Division I. I do know he secured other financial aid though. Maybe HT can shed some light.

    1. Ben,
      Guessing your friend might be a walk-on who obtained some financial aid of the non-athletic kind. Basketball and football are all or nothing scholarships for Division I.

  24. BTW, Evan Gordon played for Liberty a couple stops before IU.

    My reference was directed at BJU in Greenville, SC, which is something of a local punchline.

  25. Perhaps I shouldn’t have used “sleazy” — that probably was too strong of a word. But I still am not crazy about this practice. And to answer what some asked — no, I don’t believe for one second that April decided this on his own. Otherwise, he would’ve made this decision weeks ago. You can’t be that naive, can you? Do you really think it’s just coincidence that a few days after Yogi said he was coming back, a player “decided” to transfer? C’mon.

  26. Ben, Don’t believe Thon Maker will be in IU’s future as he only wants to play and attend(what a joke) school 1 semester. That is not Glass nor Crean’s cup of tea. If he is that driven to call the shots he just needs to turn pro.

    This over sign practice is a non-issue in my view. It is the business side of college recruiting and most people are not business people enough to accept/recognize it. Major programs have to cover their rears for defections and the reopening of recruiting by once committed 17-18 year old kids. Can anybody say Trey Lyles? And don’t forget Jr. Blackmon re-opoened his after 1st committing to IU. But it is a subject that allows chest beating criticism of Crean no matter what his method of choice is. It is a free pass to give him hell either way. For over recruiting or not recruiting good talent to a position. That is why the big bucks are paid to them. Nobody is going to do it for $90K a year.

  27. Good post HC. I especially appreciate your reference to “the business side of college recruiting and most people are not business people enough to accept/recognize it.”

    As for April’s decision to transfer, I’m sure Crean influenced his decision. If a head coach tells a player, “you’re not good enough and you’re not going to play,” the writing is on the wall. A player would have to be an idiot not to transfer after getting that feedback. It’s too much work and time to stick around if you’re not going to derive the benefit (playing time) of all the work required to be on a competitive D-I college basketball team. But that’s not wrong, that’s being honest. The coach has an obligation to be honest in communicating his assessment of every player’s standing. If anyone provides solid evidence that Crean is lying to recruits and making promises that he does not intend to keep, then we have a real issue. But I have yet to hear any transferring player go on record that Crean lied, deceived or mislead him during or after the recruiting process. If they had, Glass would not have tolerated that. You recruit a kid with your vision for how he fits into your team. You project the possible, but you also convey your expectations, such as “you will go to class, you will pursue your degree, you will follow our rules, you will work your butt off, etc.” But you don’t make guarantees about playing time, starting status, or etc., because ultimately the player’s decisions and behavior has a lot to do with how things work out. Telling lies and deceiving recruits would be really stupid, and I don’t think Crean is a stupid man.

  28. D1 college sports is the only level of sports after pee wee leagues in which it is seen as “unfair” or “sleazy” to have cuts or replace less skilled players with better ones. Depending on the size of the school, there are even cuts in middle school. In high school, seniors are routinely bumped out of the starting lineup or even down to JV in favor of younger, better players. Think about a kid like JBJ, who was (I think) playing varsity as a freshman, certainly as a sophomore. Almost by definition he was taking the spot of someone older than him. Was his high school coach “sleazy” for playing consigning some hard-working senior to the bench? My oldest son is a high school athlete in an individual sport who earned a varsity letter last year, but is almost certain to lose his spot to a more talented freshman next year and spend his senior year playing JV. Why is that OK — and it is — but telling a player like April that he is unlikely to receive playing time at IU not OK?

    People romanticize college athletics and imagine a different equation is at work. Instead of seeing sports as an inherently competitive, even Darwinian endeavor in which the best players play and the others either sit on the bench or get cut, some seem to see it as an almost spiritual commitment between athletes, coaches, and schools. Bad players don’t get replaced by better ones in the normal way they do at every other level of sport; instead, self-serving coaches ruthlessly betray innocent players and cast them into the void.

    None of the players who has left IU has been cast into the void. All of them have ended up at a different university where they are getting a free education and (probably) more playing time. There is nothing unethical or even gray-area-ish about oversigning, and nothing wrong with telling a player that he is unlikely to see playing time. That is just the nature of sports, and guys like CTC are paid to win, not to run fantasy camps for their players.

  29. Ben you’re wrong. How could you justify to the rest of the players letting someone dictate becoming a member of the squad by not developing into a team mate when missing off season conditioning, preseason camp, the preseason schedule and allow him to play the meat of the schedule as your anointed star and never attend a class. Chemistry? If you want pissed off, send that message. What will the next Thon Maker demand. Chet stated even Criminallypari would not take that deal. He will be forced into learning a lot more after turning pro than he intends to willingly learn being a college student athlete.

  30. All of the criticisms of Calipari/KY and programs similar to that regarding players being 1 and done, one semester and done, playing part time Pro ball, whatever; If it translated into a national championship here and there and competing annually for national championship, very few meaning very few fans would even care. It would not even be a figment of their imagination, and right in there leading that way of thinking would be IU fans. Recently, IU has there share of transfers and players turning Pro, however IU is just forgetting to win a national championship/s. Correct that, and everything would be college basketball paradise at IU and the school perception by fans would be IU number 1 in everything.

  31. Many IU fans are behind the times and refuse to ignore the reality that college basketball has become. It’s about money and winning. If it were about education a large percentage of the iu fan base wouldn’t be constantly calling for Creans head because like him or not his teams get the grades.We took Priller and April in and they maybe played 1/2 a game combined. If a 7 foot 3 lottery pick wants to come to IU and play 1 game you bet there will be a pair of candy stripes waiting. I’m not wrong. If you think i am than explain why John Lucas…Makers highschool coach was recently at IU? Kind of convenient we have an assistant coach opening too.

  32. I am well aware Lucas made an appearance at IU(as did Dan Coats who is retiring from the US Senate, maybe he too was interviewing for the Assistants job). The kid has already reclassified himself from 2016 to 2015 and now only wants to spend 1 semester in college. I do not believe Crean is small enough to allow it. But I am sure Glass will not. If he attends IU it will be for 2 semesters or no candy stripes.

  33. Lmao. Wow so delusional. You know the big ten and ncaa championships happen 2nd semester right?

  34. Thomas Bryant fat out said he sees himself staying 2 years. We took him. There is no guarantee maker will be in position to go pro after 1 semester…so why wouldn’t you take him? Fischer played one semester at Marquette and they took him.

  35. HH #13. To include Remy Abell in that list when Crean begged him to stay at IU simply shows how truly uninformed you are!

  36. Arch hit the target on his comment. People are being way too sensitive about the business of college basketball. Believe me, I want IU to do the right thing, but we also need to win another damn title. It has been way too long.

  37. BeatPurdue, Crean’s harshest critics ignore news, players’ statements, and even facts, that do not fit the narrative they’ve developed about Tom Crean. You are exactly right in referencing Remy Abell’s decision to transfer, but Crean’s critics held on tight to the belief that Crean ran him off campus, and that some how Abell had been victimized by the experience. And since you reminded us of Abell, it looks like his transfer to Xavier resulted in a win/win scenario. Remy transferred to another good school and doubled his minutes at Xavier. IU made room for a player that is a better shooter. Both Abell and IU benefitted from Abell’s decision to transfer. What’s wrong with that?

  38. I think Indiana could have benefitted from Remy’s defense last year. The would have been a better team with him.

  39. Although, Remy would have helped with on the ball defense … He would have done nothing to protect the rim/paint or rebound at a consistent rate… As a senior he could of helped in regards to leadership..but overall …not much…Who’s minutes would he take? My guess would be -1 or 2 in the loss column… Jmo?

  40. It’s my understanding that if Maker enrolled for the second semester, he would have to stick around a second year. Does anyone know if that is correct?

  41. That is my understanding. I did not get that from the original story but upon further review that is the way it sounds.

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