Sheldon Jeter played his freshman season at Vanderbilt this year, and when it was over he indicated that he wanted to transfer somewhere closer to home (which is Beaver Falls, PA, about 45 minutes north of Pittsburgh).
Due to some personal issues, I am leaving Vanderbilt University to be closer to my family.
— Sheldon Jeter (@LongLive_Jete21) May 18, 2013
Head coach Kevin Stallings granted him his release, because, why not? This is how basketball works. Kids sign one-year scholarships, and then the vast majority are renewed. Some kids want to transfer – for playing time or family reasons or because they think they'd look better in blue. It doesn't matter. Transfers happen. Each season over 400 kids transfer, which works out to over 1 1/4 per program, per year.
The initial thought was that he was going to go to Pitt, which certainly fits his "closer to home" desire.
We're all good, right? I mean we're talking about a no-brainer of a transfer and a coach who has his own 'Qualities of a Caring Coach' section on his official bio.
Not so fast.
How's this for irony? Vandy fans upset Gundy blocking Wes Lunt's transfer to SEC; meanwhile Kevin Stallings blocks Sheldon Jeter from Pitt.
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) May 21, 2013
His head coach is now blocking him from transferring to Pitt. Are they in the same conference? No. Does Kevin Stallings have some vendetta vs the city? Doubtful, considering the Pittsburgh Pirates drafted his son in the 7th round of the MLB draft. Is there "tampering," that beautifully bureaucratic catchphrase which typically means that a coach from School X spoke to a player from School Y, before the latter school had processed the proper paperwork to allow the two to speak? Then by all means, punish the kid (who obviously should understand the proper addendum to the sub-clause of rule 248.22.a) rather than go after the offending school. After all, you don't want to upset the old wives club of the coaching ranks.
Of course Stallings – if he wanted – could accept any job in the country and move there tomorrow. Sort of like when he left Illinois State for Vanderbilt. The reason he's able to do this is because he lives in America, and here, people are allowed to switch jobs. He makes $2 million dollars a year coaching basketball. Which is awesome. And the reason he's able to make $2 million dollars a year (plus endorsements) is because of the 13 players he has on scholarships each year. That's who fans are paying to see. But the players don't make a dime, even though Vanderbilt is marketing their image, and selling thousands of tickets each home game. And now, Sheldon Jeter cannot transfer to Pitt without paying his own way because his ex-coach doesn't want him to.
So why is Kevin Stallings blocking Sheldon Jeter's transfer to Pitt? Because he's an asshole. That's why.