Wisconsin lifts non-Big Ten limits

Updated: April 19, 2012, 9:14 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Wisconsin athletic officials, after meeting Thursday with basketball player Jarrod Uthoff, have agreed to lift all transfer restrictions except for Big Ten schools for the redshirt freshman.

The university said in a statement that Uthoff meet Thursday with associate athletic director Justin Doherty and athletic director Barry Alvarez, as part of the appeal process.

Doherty, Alvarez and basketball coach Bo Ryan then met and decided to lift "permission to contact" restrictions on any school outside of the Big Ten Conference, the school said. Ryan supported lifting the restrictions outside of the Big Ten, according to the university.

If Uthoff wants to further appeal the "permission to contact" denial to any Big Ten university, he may request a hearing within eight business days, according to the university.

According to Wisconsin, Uthoff requested "permission to contact" 16 schools, four of which were denied, and then appealed three of the four denials.

Uthoff's former AAU coach, Jamie Johnson, said Wednesday that Uthoff had submitted a list of approximately 25 potential schools and was denied by Wisconsin on more than half of them. The university said Thursday that number was incorrect.

Earlier, Ryan said it is commonplace to bar transfers from going to a conference member school. Ryan said he also added in schools that were on the Badgers' schedule.

He previously said the reason all ACC teams were banned is because the Badgers could play any of them in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. He said Florida was added because the Badgers just signed a home-and-home series with the Gators to start in Madison in the fall. Marquette is always added because the Badgers play the Golden Eagles every season.

When asked earlier why a player should be prevented from moving to a school of his choice when a coach can freely move within a conference, as Tubby Smith did from Georgia to Kentucky in the SEC, Ryan said that it's a professional contract and there are buyouts and penalties.

"There are rules of a scholarship," Ryan said. "I didn't make them up."

NCAA rules allow a player to transfer, requiring the player to sit out a year in most cases. But as Uthoff's situation shows, the process can be more complicated. According to the NCAA's website, most transfers also require a "permission to contact" letter from the current school to a potential new school.

The Big Ten altered its transfer rule within the conference, starting with the 2011-12 season. The new rule allows transfers to receive a grant-in-aid from their new school, but reduces their remaining athletic eligibility by a year.

Previously, once a Big Ten player signed a grant-in-aid agreement at one Big Ten school, he or she could transfer to a second Big Ten school, but would not be allowed to receive any financial aid.

Chad Hawley, the Big Ten's associate commissioner of compliance, said Thursday the rule change was made to prevent penalizing the player from receiving scholarship money. But the conference wanted to put in a penalty if the player transferred within the conference.

In Uthoff's case he would be allowed under Big Ten rules -- if Wisconsin didn't block him -- to transfer to another Big Ten school, but would have only three seasons of eligibility left, not four.

Information from ESPN.com's Andy Katz and The Associated Press was used in this report.

ALSO SEE