Pitt Basketball: Scholarship Situation Resolved As J.J. Richardson "Decides" To Transfer

Pitt's scholarship situation is fixed as of now with the news that J.J. Richardson is transfering. Who knows if the decision was truly his or not and it'd be unfair to speculate either way. Maybe he did want to go elsewhere to get more playing time, but, well, maybe not.

We all know how these things work, but Pitt has found itself in the uncomfortable position of needing to shoo players out the door recently. To be honest, this type of thing flat out sucks. A player has to 'decide' to leave because the coaching staff decided they needed to fill additional spots on the team ... spots they don't even necessarily have room for.

Not much is out there on the newsfront right now - the Post Gazette has the basics.

Richardson, says it's about trying to move closer to home:

"I am looking for an opportunity to move closer to my family," Richardson said in a statement. "I want to thank everyone at Pitt, including my coaches, teammates, fans and those associated with the program. It was a great two years and I wish everyone well. I’m very thankful for everything that Pitt has done for me."

Closer to home? Really? Look, the last thing I'm going to do is light into J.J. - especially if the decision wasn't entirely his. Seems like a great kid, but man, I don't know. This is something a freshman might say, but he's been here for two seasons. I'm not going to make a judgment call on this one, but it reeks of being nudged out.

Like most Pitt fans I'm sure, I always thought Richardson might be a candidate. Mostly because I didn't believe the talk about Isaiah Epps going and Pitt's frontcourt (Khem Birch, Nasir RobinsonDante Taylor, Talib Zanna, Malcolm Gilbert),  I know he slipped a bit in the rankings by the time he got to Pitt, but for a guy rated that highly to be forced out without even really suiting up this year? Sorry, not buying it. If Epps was frustrated and truly left on his own - now that I could have seen.

After all, it was Epps who said he wanted to be a 'one-and-done' guy. Last year, he played only a handful of minutes.

I really wish this weren't the problem it is in college basketball. The problem is that even if rules were enforced that said you couldn't go over the limit unless someone transferred or didn't qualify academically, you'd still have schools politely nudge kids out the door before signing a recruit. And if you put a hard cap on it, you'd be penalizing schools by not giving them the right to sign other recruits even if a kid legitimately transferred.

And yes, I'm aware of the fact that a scholarship is more of a one-year thing than a four-year thing. But does that really make sense? This isn't a kid playing pro sports that can freely move around - it's a kid who's basically settled in college and shouldn't have to worry about moving from school to school. Not really the same thing.

Plus, I'm not really sure how accurate this is, but how crazy is it that, according to Scout, Pitt is still in the hunt for two more kids for 2011?

Maybe there's just no right answer.

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