June 14, 2013

Sheldon Jeter Stuck

Filed under: Basketball,Recruiting,Transfer — Chas @ 7:11 am

Shocked. Shocked to find out that a system rigged against the student athlete came down on the side of the school and coach.

Former Vanderbilt basketball player Sheldon Jeter, embroiled in a transfer dispute with Commodores basketball coach Kevin Stallings, said Thursday his appeal to Commodores officials to be released to Pitt has been denied.

Jeter, from Beaver Falls High School, announced in May his intentions to transfer to another school closer to home. Stallings informed Jeter, as is his right under NCAA scholarship bylaws, that he could transfer to any school in the country with the exception of Pitt.

The rules for appealing a denial of transfer are stacked against the student. They can file an appeal, but it is filed with the school that employs the coach and from where the kid wants to depart. If anyone can find some examples where an appeal went against the coach I’d love to know.

The other detail is that we at least have confirmation of one piece of previously unclear information. Only Pitt was blocked by Vanderbilt and Kevin Stallings.

As the Vandy blog Anchor of Gold notes, this is the first time Stallings has put a restriction on a transfer. The reasonable suspicion on the restriction would be that Stallings believes there was some tampering — yet he won’t come out and make the accusation.

Jeter could still transfer to Pitt, but he could not receive a scholarship for the first year. That’s a tough pill to swallow and not surprisingly, Jeter isn’t saying what he will do.

Part of the problem here, is that after the initial news that Jeter had some restrictions on his transfer, no one talked. Jeter opted not to take it to the media. Apparently trying to work it out with Stallings and Vandy quietly. Vandy and Kevin Stallings refused to make any public comment. Stallings in particular wouldn’t say a word.

Side note, in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette piece it notes,

Stallings has not spoken publicly about his decision to deny Jeter a transfer to Pitt. Stallings could not be reached Thursday.

From The Tennesseean:

Stallings did not publicly disclose his reason for blocking Pitt.

Jeter has not returned numerous messages from The Tennessean seeking comment.

In case you missed some recent examples of transfers with restrictions that gained notoriety.

As for Vanderbilt’s denial of Jeter’s appeal, this isn’t the first time a college program has taken this kind of step and it certainly won’t be the last. There was Phil Martelli denying Todd O’Brien’s request to be cleared to play at UAB, and despite media pressure Martelli refused to budge.

And there’s also the case of former Wisconsin forward Jarrod Uthoff, who would ultimately be cleared to transfer to Iowa after head coach Bo Ryan was criticized publicly for prohibiting the move.

The Uthoff case from last year is the example from which I think Kevin Stallings learned the lesson of keeping quiet. Uthoff and his family made the restrictions public and helped create more attention on the matter. Bo Ryan responded — and did so poorly. He basically spoke of Uthoff as chattel. How the school and coaches invested in him by recruiting and coaching him while he was redshirting in his first year. As if that gave them greater right and claim to control his choices.

Not surprisingly, it blew up in Ryan and Wisconsin’s face and definitely played a role in removing the restrictions.

Conversely it could be fair to say Sheldon Jeter made a tactical error in being quiet about the matter. Uthoff and his parents made sure the media knew. He did interviews. Talked about it. Kept it in the news cycle and brought unwanted attention to Wisconsin and Bo Ryan.

Jeter allowed his situation to disappear from public awareness (outside of Pitt and Vandy fans). He let Vandy whisper some excuses without any rebuttal.

Jeter’s only leverage really was public attention. Vandy/Stallings, though, has the control over his transfer. The system is rigged to favor the school and coach. By trying to work quietly and with some dignity to the whole thing, he completely weakened his position to get what he wanted.

@ Frankie

NC State is considered the WVcc of the ACC, so not much of a surprise there.

UNC is still in the middle of a scandal(UNC says academic, everyone else says athletic), but hey didn’t Lawrence Taylor & Michael Jordan go there. Nuff said.

Comment by EMel 06.14.13 @ 8:31 pm

@ upittbaseball

This is the PC recruiting strategy (?), if you wait long enough, the faithful will be enthralled with whoever you recruit !

It’s sort of like waiting at the High School Dance, for all the girls to be picked over. But hey at least you landed one, instead of being one of the guys left hugging the wall.

Comment by EMel 06.14.13 @ 8:34 pm

Would have loved to have been at some of these HS dances in Wisconsin.

No wonder a guy like Barry A. tore it up out there !

Comment by EMel 06.14.13 @ 8:37 pm


Interesting supposition but you need to provide your information source. Otherwise, you are just guessing.

Comment by TonyinHouston 06.15.13 @ 4:37 am

So the Steelers are fighting the city over funding five thousand or more seats at Heinz. I haven’t read anywhere where Pitt has a voice in this matter. Those who defend the move to Heinz claim the stadium belongs to the Steelers and Pitt, yet Pitt appears to have no voice in stadium expansion. Kind of confirms the fact that Pitt is renting Heinz, just like Miami rents Sun Life and USF rents Raymond James. Temple has a 15-year lease at the Linc; we have a similar lease at Heinz. That should end all nonsense talk of us being co-partners at Heinz.`

Comment by TonyinHouston 06.15.13 @ 4:43 am


Yes, possible sellouts for Florida State and Notre Dame. But if HCPC’s team sucks, there will be plenty of tickets for sell on Ebay and outside the stadium. Pitt still has 11,000 season tickets left to sell. It could be a record-setting year for attendance, and certainly FSU and ND will help bump up the average. All depends on the product HCPC puts on the field, don’t you think, given Pitt’s history of counting phantoms at football games?

Comment by TonyinHouston 06.15.13 @ 4:48 am

TONYINHOUSTON, my understanding is that Pitt does not rent Heinz in the sense that it does not pay rental fees, just like the Steelers do not pay for UPMC facility.

The difference is the Pitt (UPMC) built and operates the facility, while the Steelers did not build Heinz but operate it. Pretty good deal for Steelers; taxpayers built it and apparently will fit the bill for the additional seats. I believe they also benefit from Stage AE.

I’m sure Steelers are responsible for some operating expenses at both facilities, as is Pitt, but the Steelers remain the city’s darling .. while Pitt/UPMC is the largest employer in Western PA (and of course have the advantage of being tax-exempt.)

It should be known the Pirates didn’t built PNC (taxpayers) and the Pens didn’t build Consol (taxpayer and casino.)

Comment by wbb 06.15.13 @ 5:46 am

Dan72 – a comment on NY recruits (I grew up/live again in Buffalo) – we don’t have big-time football and most athletes in the city choose to play basketball, however we are a populous state that does produce high-level athletes, focusing on athletes that are great at basketball but also want to play football could really be a recruiting win for Pitt – if PC can convince them to just play FB. Being am under evaluated and recruited state, NY could really be a gold mine for Chryst if he can discover those under the radar athletes that play multiple sports.

Comment by Wannstache 06.15.13 @ 7:24 am

Wannstache, wishful thinking.
NY is not a goldmine in football. Never was and never will be. The speed of the game is much slower. The skill sets are not there, etc.
Just look at Rivals as to how many kids in NY have a 3 star or better. I believe 7. Its a waste of time to recruit NY. Let Syracuse or Buffalo have those players.

Comment by Pitt.Dan83 06.15.13 @ 7:31 am

These star systems are not good as the primary measure for determining whether a recruit is a quality recruit, IMHO.

It is obvious that there are the 5-star kids (very few in numbers) that every recruiting service knows about because they performed well early in their high school careers. The four stars are similar. There are more of these (though fewer than 5-stars). Similarly, they performed well early in their high school years and got noticed. Nearly all 3 and 2-star kids never even get rated until after their junior years or in their senior years because they didn’t see much time on the field or stand out until at least their junior season–and that often may have little or nothing to do with their ability or potential.

What makes these ratings suspect as an overall measure beyond identifying some subset of the top stars is that they miss too many players due to the highly variable nature of high school football because HS football is beset with many of the following limitations–

1. Only skill position players typically have a shot at being noticed very early–and then only if they play on a successful team where they are able to showcase their skills.

2. Coaching can range from excellent to putrid and either develop and showcase talent or not develop and or bury talent in the surrounding ineptness.

3. Size and speed of players varies greatly between 13-14 year olds and 17-19 year olds. It can also vary greatly from school to school depending on local demographics and the enrollment size of the school. So, lots of kids don’t develop the size and speed needed to be noticed until they are juniors or seniors.

For all of the above reasons, plenty of potentially excellent college prospects get buried and never noticed or rated by the recruiting services assigning stars, or at least not get rated till late in their high school career. And, the later you get noticed and rated the fewer stars you will be assigned.

The bottom line is that if you are talented but playing for a crappy HS team you won’t get noticed or offered unless you are a regular on the summer camp circuit and show well there–and not all kids with potential can afford to and do make those camp rounds.

So, the bottom line for me is I am never going to criticize the landing of any recruit based solely on his lack of star rating–but with a caveat:

The recruit must exhibit the requisite Height, Weight, Speed and Agility to play at the college level (they do measure these things at the camps). If he has that, and the coaching staff has seen him at camp and/or has seen enough film (not just highlight film but actual full game film) to believe he can be successful–which it is their job to do–then I will defer to their judgment over how many (or few) stars Rivals, Scout or ESPN has awarded. These services probably fail to identify more kids than they actually identify–especially early. Ever notice how they are always playing catch-up and assigning stars to previously unrated (because they were un-scouted) kids after thy wind up committing to a school? It happens a lot.

Comment by pitt1972 06.15.13 @ 11:51 am

This whole crack house mess puts a horrible stain on our football program and we need to distance our team from any and all associations with anyone even remotely involved. If that is an over reaction ,too bad. I have a hard time supporting any team that is in any way involved with players of this ilk. I would much prefer to lose or even disband any team that allows this type of conduct. Narcotics kill children and those who are involved in distributing them, to quote Jack Lambert,” should be hung in the street ’til their bones whistle in the wind.”

Comment by spiritofsection 22 06.15.13 @ 12:02 pm

It wasn’t a crack house. The kid from North Side was dealing heroin. So it was a heroin house.

Agree with the sentiment, however you have to realize, drugs are such a big part of the culture now for 50 years that it would be next to impossible to completely stop it. It even goes on in the Ivy League and D2 & D3 schools.

And from my understanding, pretty much every NFL team has a player who is the drug dealer for that team.

So this is more a reflection of life in these United States and the popular culture than it is of any univsersity. Until it’s portrayed, as not “cool”, it’s never going away.

Comment by EMel 06.15.13 @ 3:03 pm

Since Pitt is state related and the Sadium Authority (or whatever they call it) is a government (local) authority, I belive the thought process is that Pitt is already represented, in an indirect way, on the issue.
Taxpayers look at Heinz as a Steeler’s facility. Taxpayer’s are right.
Taxpayer’s want the Steeler’s to start paying their own way. Taxpayer’s are right again.
You are right, Pitt is a tenant. tenant’s do what their contract says they do and in this case, it means shut up.
Terribly dissappointed in Pederson extension. The blog article tells you all you need to know, once you understand that there are “facts” and there are Pederson’s “facts”. The latter category being fiction.
“All sports will be fully funded” says Cyanide. Then we learn later that soccer is not among them. “All” it seems, is a relative term.
Best ticket sales since Pederson has been here!
Didn’t Cyanide claim “sellouts” one year? With 11k tickets still collecting dust, how can this be true?
“Improved” Trees Hall? Really? When did normal maintenance and repair equal “improvement”? Setting the flooring so water doesn’t pool is a health and safety issue, not an improvement. The locker rooms suck as do the gathering areas.
Man, this guy is a pathological liar.

Comment by sfpitt 06.16.13 @ 8:54 am

Emel, At the risk of sounding like a modern day Archie Bunker, if we took Lambert’s advice I bet the problem would go away quick. I’m only 60 and sometimes I think I have lived too long. What passes as acceptable in our current culture was considered absurdly deviant a generation ago. Two weeks ago I thought the media was going to have an orgasm gushing over the homosexual basketball player coming out of the closet as an example. Jerry Sandusky just came along a generation or two too early. Todays perversion is the futures stylish cause. The pedophiles can make the same political arguments the homosexuals have. What a world we are passing on when drug dealers are cool and perversion is glorified.

Comment by spiritofsection 22 06.17.13 @ 10:35 am

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