Iowa's Jarrod Uthoff eager to play after contentious transfer from rival Wisconsin

  • Article by: LUKE MEREDITH , AP Sports Writer
  • Updated: June 28, 2013 - 11:35 AM

NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa — Remember Jarrod Uthoff, the kid whose contentious transfer from Wisconsin sparked a national debate last spring?

It's understandable if you don't.

Even his summer league team can't seem to remember his name.

Uthoff — or "Utoff," as it's misspelled on the back of his gray mesh jersey for the recreational league in North Liberty, Iowa — spent the past season working anonymously toward his long-awaited Division I debut.

Uthoff, a Cedar Rapids, Iowa native, will get his wish after two long years when he's finally eligible for Iowa this winter.

"That's what keeps me going," Uthoff said. "There's a light at the end of the tunnel."

Uthoff's appearance in a summer league game Thursday was one of the first opportunities Iowa fans had to see him play.

For a while, it looked as though he might never play for the Hawkeyes — or any other team remotely connected to Wisconsin.

Uthoff, a 6-foot-10 forward and Iowa's Mr. Basketball in 2011, committed to coach Bo Ryan and the rival Badgers before his senior year at Cedar Rapids Jefferson. The Hawkeyes heavily recruited Uthoff, a versatile big man who lived about 20 minutes from Carver-Hawkeye Arena. But they were just starting a major transition between Todd Lickliter and current coach Fran McCaffery and were mired in the Big Ten basement.

Uthoff, a skilled shooter and passer for his size, seemed a perfect fit for Ryan's system.

He never was, though.

That's when the trouble began.

Uthoff sought to transfer from Wisconsin after not playing as a freshman in 2011-12. Ryan, who has rarely lost a player during his highly successful tenure in Madison, initially denied Uthoff permission to contact a number of schools, including those in the Big Ten and ACC, rival Marquette among others.

Ryan eventually relented and removed restrictions on any school outside of the Big Ten. But Ryan's actions prompted a backlash among many who wondered why coaches who are free to move to any school they want could restrict players from doing the same.

Uthoff stayed in the Big Ten anyway, electing to go to Iowa.

The restrictions prevented Uthoff from speaking with anyone connected to the Hawkeyes until he enrolled in classes. He also had to pay for school during the 2012-13 school year.

Though the soft-spoken Uthoff never sought to create a national dialogue about NCAA transfer rules, he's convinced he made the right call.

"The first couple of weeks, I knew it," Uthoff said. "It was everything. The atmosphere, the Hawkeyes community, the fan support. Everything."

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Atlanta - WP: E. Stults 4 FINAL
Detroit - LP: J. Chamberlain 2
Washington - LP: X. Cedeno 2 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: M. Wacha 6
Philadelphia 4 FINAL
Pittsburgh 18
Baltimore 6 FINAL
Tampa Bay 6
Miami - LP: D. Haren 1 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: R. Montero 7
San Diego 6 FINAL
Cincinnati 3
San Francisco 5 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 8
Colorado 2 FINAL
Oakland 11
LA Angels - LP: N. Tropeano 3 FINAL
Seattle - WP: T. Walker 5
Cleveland 4 FINAL
Chicago WSox 1
Kansas City 11 FINAL
Texas 7
Los Angeles 4 FINAL
Arizona 2
Toronto 7 FINAL
Houston 4
Minnesota - LP: C. Johnson 2 FINAL
Boston - WP: J. Masterson 14
Boston 116 FINAL
Charlotte 104
LA Lakers 113 FINAL
Philadelphia 111
Houston 96 FINAL
Toronto 99
Milwaukee 88 FINAL
Atlanta 101
Sacramento 83 FINAL
Memphis 97
Utah 104 FINAL
Minnesota 84
Phoenix 86 FINAL
Portland 109
Tampa Bay 5 FINAL
Montreal 3
Vancouver 4 FINAL
St. Louis 1
Calgary 5 FINAL
Dallas 3
Los Angeles 1 FINAL
Chicago 4
Edmonton 4 FINAL
Colorado 1
Buffalo 4 FINAL
Arizona 1
ULM 58 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 65
Dayton 70 FINAL
(1) Connecticut 91
(6) Tennessee 48 FINAL
(4) Maryland 58
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: What are you following most closely right now?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close