Copyright 2017 News & Record (Greensboro, North Carolina)
All Rights Reserved
News & Record (Greensboro, North Carolina)
CHAPEL HILL — Citing the hypocrisy of college sports, an NCAA bylaw and standards of decency, basketball player Cameron Johnson, a graduate transfer from the University of Pittsburgh, is making his case for the immediate eligibility that he seeks at North Carolina.
After announcing his intention to transfer to North Carolina, the former PItt player released a lengthy statement Tuesday in which he argues his case.
Johnson, who has two years of remaining eligibility after he graduated in three years from Pitt, wrote that UNC is "the one school that fits my academic and athletic interests the most."
Pitt, though, is restricting Johnson's transfer and attempting to force him to sit out next season at UNC.
Unlike undergraduate college athletes, who are forced to sit out for one season after they transfer, those who transfer after graduating are eligible to compete immediately under NCAA rules.
Different conferences and universities, though, have their own policies for graduate transfers.
Pitt's policy restricts graduate transfers from being immediately eligible at any other ACC school, or any other school on Pitt's schedule during the next year.
And so while Johnson could be immediately eligible at schools outside of the ACC, Pitt is attempting to force him to sit out next season at UNC.
In his statement, Johnson emphasized the hypocrisy of such a stance.
He wrote about how his first head coach at Pitt, Jamie Dixon, left the school and immediately began coaching at Texas Christian, and about how Kevin Stallings left Vanderbilt to become Dixon's immediate successor to lead Pitt.
During Johnson's three years at Pitt, the university also lost one athletics director and hired another.
Johnson also noted that the associate athletics director who heard his transfer appeal recently left for another job at another institution.
Of those who had come and gone, Johnson wrote, "all had the freedom to move as they pleased.
As a student-athlete, who is not a paid employee of the school, and a graduate, shouldn't I be granted the same freedom of movement?"
Johnson also cited an NCAA rule that stipulates graduate transfers be allowed to compete immediately at a given school or be denied the opportunity to transfer to that school.
Pitt is allowing Johnson to transfer to UNC and receive immediate athletic financial aid. And so, Johnson argued, given that he wasn't prohibited from transferring to UNC, he should be immediately eligible there.
During a recent interview, Johnson said he graduated from Pitt with a 3.9 GPA.
In his statement, he wrote that Pitt officials cited his strong academic record in their decision to allow him to transfer to an ACC school and receive immediate athletic financial aid.
Read More of Today's AB Headlines
Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter