Transfer trouble

If I were University of Tennessee athletics director Mike Hamilton – and it's probably a good thing I'm not – I would immediately send out a memorandum giving my head coaches the following piece of advice:

Do not, under any circumstances, accept a transfer whose younger brother is a big-time prospect.

I have three reasons for this:

1.Superstar prep quarterback Chris Leak is all set to sign with the Vols. He cannot hide his enthusiasm for the Big Orange program. This is a good thing. Then UT accepts his older brother, C.J., as a transfer from Wake Forest. C.J. plays so poorly in his only career start (2002 at Georgia) that he is benched after two lackluster series ... never to see meaningful action again. Chris decides the Vols mistreated his big brother and signs with arch-rival Florida for spite. He then leads the Gators to the 2006 national title. This is not a good thing.

2.Superstar prep quarterback Jimmy Clausen has been committed to Tennessee ever since he got out of diapers. He can't wait to play at the school where older brother Casey started from 2000-2003. This is a good thing. Then UT accepts middle brother Rick as a transfer from LSU. Rick and Erik Ainge share the QB job in 2005, a situation which leaves both unhappy and unproductive. Tennessee's offense suffers, and Jimmy – the most talented of the Clausen clan – reneges on his life-long commitment to UT in favor of Notre Dame. This is not a good thing.

3.Superstar prep point guard Cordell Passley commits to Tennessee in May of 2005. Though only a high school freshman, he is eager to run Bruce Pearl's up-tempo offense. This is a good thing. Then UT accepts older brother Tony as a transfer from Redlands Community College. Tony spends Year 1 sitting on the bench as a transfer, then spends Year 2 sitting on the bench as a non-contributor. Plagued by turnovers and academic issues, he ultimately is dismissed from the team. Shortly after this news goes public, Cordell announces he is no longer committed to Tennessee. This is not a good thing.

Given these three discouraging developments, I think Mike Hamilton should suggest Phil Fulmer and Bruce Pearl accept a transfer only if he is an only child. And, if the guy wanting to transfer has a younger brother with skills ... well, just say no.

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