Jarrod Uthoff could attend any Big Ten school on scholarship, but only with full Wisconsin release (updated with Wisconsin comment)

Cedar Rapids Jefferson's Jarrod Uthoff (43) and Alec Saunders (33) try to block Marcus Paige of Linn-Mar during a game a
Cedar Rapids Jefferson's Jarrod Uthoff (43) and Alec Saunders (33) try to block Marcus Paige of Linn-Mar during a game at Jefferson High School in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, February 15, 2011. (Cliff Jette/Sourcemedia Group)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Jarrod Uthoff said Tuesday he should know within two days if he can leave Wisconsin for a school — or any school — of his choosing.

Uthoff, a 6-foot-8 freshman forward from Cedar Rapids, asked for his scholarship release last Thursday and was slapped with multiple transfer restrictions, including all Big Ten schools, Milwaukee-based Marquette and Iowa State. Monday, Virginia asked for permission to contact him and Wisconsin officials added Virginia and the other 11 ACC schools to the restricted list.

Uthoff said he has appealed the decision and should know his answer by Thursday. He said his communication has come from Wisconsin's compliance office, not from Coach Bo Ryan.

“I hope it changes, that’s why I filed my appeal,” Uthoff said. “I want to explore all of my options.”

Wisconsin basketball spokesman Patrick Herb said once a student-athlete receives a scholarship release, the athlete submits a list of schools to the compliance office he or she wishes to attend. The school then can grant or deny permission for the student to contact those schools.

"If there’s a denial, the student-athlete has two business days from the time that denial is made to appeal," Herb said.

The status of Uthoff's appeal is unresolved. Wisconsin Coach Bo Ryan was unavailable for comment.

Uthoff, who was Iowa’s Mr. Basketball in 2010 for Cedar Rapids Jefferson, red-shirted this year for the Badgers. Wisconsin’s offense is methodical, high-percentage and low-scoring. The Badgers also played a dogged brand of defense and was first nationally in scoring percentage.

The style of play didn’t suit Uthoff, but he said he doesn’t regret his initial decision to attend Wisconsin.

“Through the course of the year I got a better understanding of the system and how it works,” Uthoff said Tuesday. “I’ve been thinking about this decision for a couple of months. Finally I decided it would be best to transfer.”

Wisconsin has granted permission to several Missouri Valley Conference schools and St. Louis to speak with Uthoff. Uthoff plans to visit Creighton next Monday.

Uthoff said he’d like to have more flexibility choosing his next school and would potentially add either Iowa or Iowa State to his prospects.

“I would have to weigh all of my options,” Uthoff said. “Those are definitely ones I would consider, both of them, yes.”

Both schools, along with Big Ten programs Indiana, Illinois and Northwestern offered a scholarship to Uthoff, as did UNI, Virginia and Creighton. Uthoff, who has an open major, picked Wisconsin in July 2010.

Unlike in the past, Big Ten intra-conference transfers now can receive full scholarships from their second league institutions, according to rules updated by league officials for the 2011-12 school calendar year.

“The current intra-conference transfer rule has no impact on financial aid, so a (student-athlete) could receive aid in the year of transfer and in future years,” Scott Chipman, the Big Ten’s associate commissioner for athletics communications, wrote in an email to The Gazette. “Under the old intra-conference transfer rule, a (student-athlete) who received athletics aid at one Big Ten institution could not receive athletics aid at a second Big Ten institution.”

The rule change can significantly affect transfers within the league. In the past, athletes like Sam Okey (who transferred from Wisconsin to Iowa) had to pay their own way and sit out one full season.

Division I student-athletes who transfer to another Division I school must continue to sit out for one academic year.

The scholarship changes were prompted by former Iowa recruit Ben Brust, who asked for and was granted a scholarship release in 2010 when Iowa fired Todd Lickliter and then hired Fran McCaffery. Under the league’s old rules, Brust was ineligible to attend another Big Ten school on scholarship. Brust’s family appealed to a Big Ten subcommittee of league faculty representatives and initially was denied. He later appealed to a full group of faculty representatives and was successful.Brust, ironically, went to Wisconsin.

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