Well, it’s official now. Shea Patterson became the first Ole Miss football player from the 2017 roster to transfer away from the program in Oxford.
It’s been no big secret. In fact it was probably the worst kept secret in college football. Ole Miss football fans knew this day was coming though many of us hoped it wouldn’t. It was obvious to many of us Shea was on borrowed time within Oxford. After head coach Matt Luke had the interim tag removed many of us expected Shea to move on.
What we didn’t expect were the ‘bush league tactics’ which were used by Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh. Actively recruiting players while they are on the roster of another team is something which should be investigated by the NCAA. I’m sure if Ole Miss did it there would be a problem. However, it probably isn’t a problem for a school who can fly an entire football team to Rome.
With the weekend visits to Ann Arbor by Shea Patterson, Van Jefferson and Deontay Anderson we expected announcements to come soon. While is was widely expected Anderson would be the first player to commit to Michigan. However, earlier today Patterson made the decision to transfer official with his commitment to the Wolverines.
Mixed Ole Miss Emotions
Ole Miss Rebels Football
While there will obviously be some saltiness from Ole Miss football fans when it comes to player transfer, most opinions have been mixed. For many Ole Miss football fans it feels like an act of betrayal. However it really isn’t. Shea and his family aren’t doing this TO Ole Miss just like they aren’t doing this FOR Michigan. Of course, Shea and his family are doing this for Shea.
Shea is a good young man and an exceptional athlete. Of course, Shea comes from a good family who only have his best interest in mind. Coming off a season ending injury and facing some serious competition for the starting spot next season, transferring was probably the best option for Shea.
There’s nothing wrong with a kid wanting to better himself. None of this has been any of Shea’s fault. He was merely a prospect when players were getting busted for sleeping on a coaches, deer hunting and trying to keep their power on.
Through this entire process I believe Shea has handled it as graciously as could be expected from a college sophomore. It’s obvious he believed Ole Miss was the right spot for him at one time. Of course, priorities have a way of changing. As a part of the Ole Miss family I believe we owe him well wishes. Good luck to Shea and the other players who transfer.
An Unwanted Distraction
Whether we believe it was right or wrong for Shea, we can all probably agree Shea and his family had become a distraction after his season ending injury. Before he had even healed there were already reports of the family considering a transfer. Sources close to the situation were saying Shea would only stay based on the new hire.
I believe the permanent position of Matt Luke as head coach and Memphis head coach Mike Norvell being passed over were the nails in the proverbial coffin. While both AD Ross Bjork and Chancellor Jeff Vitter were doing what was best for Ole Miss it obviously wasn’t what was best for Shea.
Sadly we live in a day and age where players change teams with the regularity of changing our socks. It’s also sad when self apparently becomes more important than team. This is counter-productive within a team environment and any one ‘self’ can create unwanted distractions and disruptions for a locker-room.
Shea transferring is absolutely the best thing for Shea, Michigan and especially Ole Miss given every aspect of the situation. None of us should have any problem with any player getting out of Oxford if they don’t really want to be there. In fact the transfer problem doesn’t begin or end with the players anyway.
Where The Real Problem Lies
No the transfer problem doesn’t lie with a single player or even multiple players. The problem lies within the process by which players can transfer schools to avoid penalties without restrictions. This isn’t fair when you have players who are being punished for staying with an extended post-season ban. By allowing transfers without penalties there is no incentive to stay with a program.
Of course, this is simply more of an opportunity for the NCAA to hamstring the Ole Miss program. So what if the NCAA sanctions weren’t as bad as they could have been for Ole Miss. Allowing the NCAA to institute sanctions and make up the transfer rules as they go is the end result of an entire NCAA investigation which turned into a media circus.
It hasn’t gotten any better for Ole Miss since the sanctions were handed down. It’s highly likely it will continue to get even worse before it does get better. There have been opposing coaches who illegally contacted Ole Miss players even before the 2017 season began. The NCAA will turn a blind eye to the ‘bush league’ recruiting tactics of certain schools, especially if it means helping further the anti-Ole Miss agenda.
Sure, there will be more transfers in the very near future. Even then it won’t be the fault of the players involved. Not every football player will put their team before themselves. No it will be the fault of the NCAA and a few ‘bush league’ coaching staffs. Honestly, Ole Miss is better off without all the ‘selfs’ in Oxford. Ironically, now we have the NCAA and the ‘bush leaguers’ to thank for that. Hotty Damn Toddy!