"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."
It may be an old phrase, but it remains prevalent in the wild world of college sports. And with a record number of college basketball players transferring this spring, many coaches have started to seriously worry about the future of the NCAA's integrity. According to Arizona St. Sun Devils head coach Herb Sendek, the number of players leaving one school for another these days is an epidemic.
Following the departure of numerous players from his program following yet another disappointing season in Tempe, Sendek addressed players leaving. While he came to support Trent Lockett's decision to leave due to family reasons, he clearly isn't happy with the decisions of guys like Keala King, Chanse Creekmur and Kyle Cain.
Here is what the coach told ArizonaSports.com this past week:
"If you look at the guys who have transferred from our program almost 100% have been because of playing time," Sendek stated. "It's a national epidemic."
Sendek is astounded by the staggering number of transfers in men's collegiate basketball these days and said this problem affects almost every program, not just the Sun Devils.
"Over 40% of all Division 1 men's college basketball players transfer by their sophomore year," Sendek explained. "If you take out the guys who go early to the pro's, if add the sprinkling of guys who transfer as upper classmen, if you add the fact now that guys are graduating without penalty being able to transfer to play a fifth year, who does it leave?"
While ASU basketball is in a state of transition, Sendek wants to clear up some fallacies surrounding the university's program.
"I think the supposition that a lot of people make is guys are transferring something must be wrong with the institution," Sendek explained. "There must be a relationship problem with the coach and that's not the case."
While I am inclined to agree with what Sendek says -- the amount of players transferring these days is out of control -- he has to take a look in the mirror. Outside of one year with James Harden running the show, the Sun Devils have continually underperformed with Sendek at the helm of the program. He runs a slow-it-down offensive style that is typically unpopular and unappealing for potential recruits, and employs a zone defense that takes a ton of time to learn.
Not exactly what most 17-year-old high school kids are looking for when picking a school to attend.
And while Sendek's program is struggling due to transfers, Sean Miller and the Arizona Wildcats are thriving because of it. In the last two months, UA has added two All-American-caliber point guards in Mark Lyons and T.J. McConnell, two players expected to have huge roles in Tucson in the foreseeable future. It also rid the Wildcats of Josiah Turner, who was continually getting in trouble off the court.
Other programs such as Missouri and UNLV have also found great success through players transferring to their school.
Maybe the issue in Tempe isn't necessarily the players who are leaving, but the coach calling the shots. It sure seems to be a working formula in Tucson right now.