Canadian Hoops Blogger Questions Recruitment of Isiah Osborne by UTEP
A story published today in a Canadian blog questioned UTEP recruitment's of Isiah Osborne from the University of Windsor. Mark Wasyk, who runs the popular Canadian basketball blog Canhoops, questioned the ethics of a Division 1 school being able to recruit a Canadian student athlete away from their college while the athlete is eligible and committed to play for the school in the upcoming athletic season. The story quoted Dave Smart, the head coach of the Carleton University Ravens, who compete against Windsor in Canadian Interuniversity Sports (CIS).
"(Osborne) is going to a school that is not any better basketball wise then he was already at," Smart told Caanhoops. "He is also going somewhere where they will not come close to developing him the way his CIS school would have… It’s disappointing that the top 6-8 CIS teams year in year out do not get the respect that they deserve from the Canadian basketball community compared to mid to low level Division 1 teams… It’s disappointing because kids of his caliber are given very poor advice for their basketball and post basketball futures. I’m just happy that most of the parents and coaches of the players we have been fortunate enough to recruit understand what is best for their players and sons from a basketball and life perspective. In my opinion it’s an unfortunate decision for the player more than anything. I guarantee his basketball life would be better in 4 years if he had stayed at Windsor. I know there isn’t a player on our team that would be better off at a mid to low Division 1 school rather than Carleton".
Osborne will not be the first or the last Canadian university student athlete who is lured away to an NCAA Division 1 school. Whether or not the process is ethical does not take away from the fact that the NCAA has no legislation governing CIS to NCAA transfers. Was the fact that Matt Willms happened to be in Windsor while Osborne dropped 35 points in a preseason game earlier this month just a great coincidence for the Miners men's basketball program?
I spoke with University of Windsor Athletic Director Mike Havey today and he told me that he still has not heard back from either UTEP Athletics officials or Conference USA regarding the Osborne situation. He has also contacted the NCAA and National Association of Basketball Coaches. Havey is determined to get the NCAA to pass legislature prohibiting future recruitment of Canadian student athletes on university scholarship. While he waits for an answer, UTEP is trying to file a waiver which would make Osborne immediately eligible for the 2016-17 season. 600 ESPN El Paso will continue to follow the story and bring any more updates when available.