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Opinion

Vukovcan: Horton’s Transfer Yet Another Example of What’s Wrong With College Athletics

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Loyalty from both the players and coaches is virtually non-existent today in college sports.

It’s every man for himself and it’s all due to the transfer portal which has ruined college athletics.

The latest example of this is what happened today with the surprise announcement that Ithiel Horton was transferring from Pitt.

Before I give my thoughts on this situation which might not be popular, I want to acknowledge that both players AND coaches are responsible for this transfer epidemic. In some cases, the program realizes they made a mistake on a kid or need another available scholarship, so they ENCOURAGE the player to move on. On the other side, a player leaves over unhappinesses over minutes, if a coach looks at them wrong, or if they think they’re Michael Jordan after one good season and want to move to a better program.

Whatever the case, the transfer portal is out of control and is a bad look for college athletics.

Speaking of bad looks, that’s exactly how I feel about Horton bailing on Pitt.

Yes, he bailed on Pitt.

I get it, he’s an adult and is free to make whatever decision that he believes is best for him. However, that doesn’t mean that this move isn’t able to be questioned.

Let’s remember, it was Capel and the Pitt program that had Horton’s back following his ill-timed arrest at the start of the season. No one knows exactly what happened that night, but Horton and the officers involved and some believe that Capel went out of his way to defend and protect Horton. Some coaches would’ve immediately thrown Horton off the team but Capel choose not to do that.

Despite that, Horton repays him by jumping ship.

Here’s something else that is confusing about this news. Playing time and a player’s role in an offense is another big reason for deciding to transfer. However, those two things didn’t exist with Horton at Pitt.

In the teams last eight games, guess who led the team in minutes and shots per game? Yeah, Ithiel Horton.

Minutes Per Game (Last 8 Games): Horton 35 minutes, Burton 33 minutes, Odukale 31 minutes, Gueye 31 minutes and Hugley 30 minutes.

Field Goals Attempted (Last 8 Games): Horton 89 shots, Hugley 84, Burton 80, Gueye 74 and Odukale 51.

I find it very, very unlikely that if Horton’s goal is to have more of a role on a major college program, that that will happen.

Hey, this isn’t a personal attack on Horton, instead yet another disappointing example of the lack of loyalty and commitment in todays college athletics.

The other sad part to this situation is there will probably be another story similar to this with a college athlete that makes the decision to transfer.

When will this end?

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Dave
Dave
2 months ago

Couldn’t agree more,Mike,loyalty is a thing of the past but I think Ithiel couldn’t shake the stigma from his incident,so probably had to change his surrounding because he seemed like such an emotional kid.

Terrence
Terrence
2 months ago

Very good article and the part I really hate about the portal is the blue bloods and other bigger programs recruiting players from other programs especially the smaller programs as it has really hurt the duquesnes and Robert Morris’s of the world

Chris
Chris
2 months ago
Reply to  Terrence

Yea, as if they did not always have enough.

Rob Radich
Rob Radich
2 months ago

Capel “Had his back” because he needed him. And Coaches running kids off and impacting their education and lives while cashing 7 figure checks is more egregious. My god what an apologist for my alma maters dumpster fire. Not a “personal attack on Horton”? Ok. You’re punching down on a 21 year old kid. Stop

Last edited 2 months ago by Rob Radich
Jason
Jason
2 months ago
Reply to  Rob Radich

Mike,
I absolutely agree and thought the same thing when I saw this. No one is “punching down on a 21 year old kid.” This kid made a terrible mistake. And that mistake was forgiven by his coach, his teammates and his school…..and then he leaves! SMH

DL
DL
2 months ago
Reply to  Rob Radich

Maybe the 21 year old kid shouldn’t have punched someone to get suspended in the first place?

Rob Radich
Rob Radich
2 months ago
Reply to  DL

And what does that have to do with his decision to transfer?

Bob
Bob
2 months ago
Reply to  Rob Radich

Punching down a 21 year old kid? Seriously, did you honestly just say that? He’s a 21 year old man who had the balls to punch a policeman and be accepted back by his coach and university. This is the repayment he gives? They are adults Rob, they are not children. I will agree with you on the coaches that cash the big checks and could care less about these young men. But, the playing field just evened out, they are now able to leave when a coach leaves them high and dry!

Ed Rose
Ed Rose
2 months ago
Reply to  Rob Radich

Leave your hatred for Capel go, man. Bottom line is the man was drunk and punched a cop. If that is me or you we are in jail. He was VERY lucky. Pitt stuck with him and so did the coaches. Yes, they needed him, but he needed Pitt way more. Had he had any class and dignity he would stick by the program and people who supported him when he most needed it. Kid or not (21 years old) he knows right from wrong and he has done the wrong thing again.

Rob Radich
Rob Radich
2 months ago
Reply to  Ed Rose

Let go of the blind love and lack of accountability. Horton being arrested and his leaving are two different things. Pitt stuck with him because they thought he would be useful. Nothing more. If it was Amundson or Oladipo or anyone less useful he would have been cut loose. If you had any class or dignity you wouldn’t be punching down on a kid who made a decision he feels is in his best interest. Clown

Ed Rose
Ed Rose
2 months ago
Reply to  Rob Radich

I am not a Capel fan. I also am not a fan of the current state of the program. As someone that goes to the games and supports them I want to see them become a winner again. The accountability here falls on Mr. Horton, Raw-B. He is the wrong one here. Capel can not babysit him and make sure he stays sober and helps quell his violent tendencies. I am not punching down on a kid. He is a 21 year old man. Just calling it out like it is. He has the right to leave. He just looks… Read more »

Joe Cursi
Joe Cursi
2 months ago
Reply to  Ed Rose

Not hatred. Just want to win and to this point he has not shown anything close. Just the facts!

Mtgj
Mtgj
2 months ago
Reply to  Rob Radich

This could be the most out of touch comment I have ever read. You need to get back into reality.

Don
Don
2 months ago

All goes back to the character as well as the talent of who you are recruiting. Capel has shown he can’t evaluate either. As far as AD Lyke, whom I do like, wanting us to believe a buyout did not play into her decision to retain Capel is a shot at all our intelligences.

Justin Dietrich
Justin Dietrich
2 months ago

He deserves any personal attack we want to give him.

RonDon
RonDon
2 months ago

I’m mostly fine with it in the grand scheme of things. He’s definitely the most significant transfer this year, but he’s inconsistent and undersized. Also, it seems like he played a role in the whole locker room issue last year, but Capel needed someone to stay so it was better to have Horton than nobody. If they had a discussion and Horton said something to Capel about transferring, maybe he said “yeah, maybe it’s better if you leave”. Just speculation on my part, I definitely put it on Horton. Hopefully we can replace him with a more consistent and more… Read more »

J. Byron Fleck
J. Byron Fleck
2 months ago

Students on academic scholarship are free to transfer to another school wherever and at anytime they so choose. Why should athletic scholarship kids not have the same opportunity?

Mtgj
Mtgj
2 months ago
Reply to  J. Byron Fleck

Because it ruins college sports.
The people who run college basketball should be allowed to make rules that make college basketball the best product it can be.
As long as kids aren’t forced to participate then they should have to follow the rules set forth by the universities

Ed Rose
Ed Rose
2 months ago
Reply to  J. Byron Fleck

He does that have that right and he exercised that right. Under the circumstances of his situation he comes across as a very ungrateful person. I know if my coached stuck with me, helped keep me out of jail and when I returned played me over 30 minutes a game I would not be bailing on him and the other coaches and players.

Joe Cursi
Joe Cursi
2 months ago

I don’t understand why you are confused. This team sucks! Next years team looks like there is a real possibility that they will suck as well!
Just waiting for the end of the season next year to bring in a new coach that at least can get us to the .500 mark!

Jeff Kaufman
Jeff Kaufman
2 months ago

I agree with you Mike the transfer portable is ruining college sports

Jason
Jason
2 months ago

One thing I think is slightly different in this case is that I saw he is graduating in May so he has completed his commitment to Pitt. I am suprhe is leaving especially with Capel supporting him, but he is graduating this year

Krackerjack Kid
Krackerjack Kid
2 months ago

This is what happen when you refuse to recruit character.

Big Mouth Jeff deserves all of this, and, is to blame for it as well. He recruits immature man-babies.

But, Jeffy is fine with his players (who represent Pitt) assaulting cops and yelling misogynistic slurs. So there is all you need to know.

Capel is a joke.

Mtgj
Mtgj
2 months ago

College basketball and football had a great product for so long. The transfer portal is slowly but surely ruining these sports. These kids aren’t forced to play sports, why these schools aren’t allowed to make their own rules is beyond me.
I think the rule of sitting out 1 year if you transfer is more than fair and should be allowed. The schools run these sports and should be allowed to make the rules.
What isn’t fair is that the players now make the rules and they are ruining the great product that once was college basketball.

Robert
Robert
2 months ago

Pitt blew their opportunity by not hiring Sean Miller.
Repeat repeat and same results.Maybe they are following the Pirates model .

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