UConn sought other roster-reducing fixes

When Connecticut got word that mega-recruit Andre Drummond was willing to enroll for this season instead of next, there were a few options for the Huskies in order to open up a scholarship.

The obvious one was someone leaving the team, even if that meant a possible hit to the Academic Performance Rating. UConn did make efforts, according to multiple sources, to see if there was interest in 7-foot-1 center Enosch Wolf. Rhode Island and Towson were called about Wolf and both schools had a scholarship available.

According to sources, both schools were led to believe the sophomore from Germany would be coming to them. But then Wolf, according to sources, decided against leaving the Huskies, even though he will have to battle Drummond, Alex Oriakhi, Tyler Olander and Michael Bradley for playing time.

Once Wolf decided to stay put, that’s when the option of pursuing financial aid from Bradley was discussed. Bradley had to voluntarily decide to go on the aid, which he has, and as a result the Huskies have 10 scholarship players on the roster, 11 who were recruited to be there this season.

Both URI and Towson were looking at Wolf as a positive addition -- a big man who could potentially develop into a much more productive player at their level. But Wolf didn’t want to leave and the Huskies weren’t going to run him off the team unwillingly. That would have likely been a hit on their APR, not to mention horrible PR.

So Wolf stays and will now earn his playing time as best he can on a team that will start the preseason in the top five. Every coach in the country would take Drummond on their roster if they could -- even if there were no available scholarships. If the NCAA doesn't want this to happen, then the Committee on Infractions could get tougher or the APR penalty could be stricter in its language concerning scholarship reductions.

But that's not the case, so UConn was able to pull this off and make it work to its advantage. Not a single coach I’ve talked to on this subject would have done anything different. That's not a defense of Connecticut or a justification of the "creative" juggling that goes on with rosters. It is, however, the current reality.