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Monday, January 24, 2011
Tom Savage situation turning ugly?

By Brian Bennett

So much for hopes that Tom Savage could make a clean getaway from Rutgers.

The Miami Herald has reported that the former Scarlet Knights quarterback has drawn interest from Miami but that head coach Greg Schiano is blocking a transfer to the Hurricanes. And Savage's father is unhappy with that decision.

"Miami called his high school coach and said they really like Tom and he would fit well in their offense and they are really interested," Tom Savage Sr. told the paper. "Tom is interested. He has always loved Miami."

Schools often block transfers within their own conference or to teams that will appear on future schedules within a player's career. Neither of those is the case with Miami. The Scarlet Knights' only possible justification for preventing Savage from going to Florida is that they recruit heavily in that state.

"I don't understand how one person can be dictator over your son's future," Savage Sr. said. "I know they recruit Florida, but the ones that want to go to Rutgers are going to go to Rutgers. … It's just wrong."

Savage Sr. said the family has spoken with an attorney and has filed an appeal on the blocked transfer. The appeal will be heard within 10 days.

It's distasteful how many cards schools hold over players. A player is granted a one-year, renewable scholarship and can be asked to leave if he underperforms or is recruited over. If he wants to go to another school, he has to sit out a year, and his old program can dictate where he can and can't go. Meanwhile, coaches are free to change jobs at any time.

I think teams end up looking petty when they try to restrict players from transferring to a preferred destination. Losing Savage already hurts, but if he ends up in Miami it is not going to permanently damage the Scarlet Knights in any way. It's sad to see things come to this, after Schiano and Savage seemed to have such a strong relationship in the previous two years.