The Josh Smith saga took a little more of an interesting turn today as the academic appeals board assembled by the University denied Smith's desire to have an open transfer to 8 - 10 schools. Instead, fulfilling Smith's request to further his music career, the former Buff will only be allowed to further his education at the University of Southern California. USC is supposedly the only school who has the music major Smith listed as his reason for transfer. According to the Daily Camera, the Buffs leading special teams player from a year ago will have only a couple of options:
"Smith’s options are now limited to transferring to USC, paying his way to another school for one year before being allowed to receive financial aid or returning to CU."
No one knows if USC would actually offer Josh Smith a scholarship to play football there and considering their talented wide receiver depth chart, finding room for Smith might be difficult.
Basically this signals that their is a lot more to the story than we know about. For the transfer appeal committee to agree with the decision of athletic director Mike Bohn and head coach Dan Hawkins decision to limit Smith's escape route certainly points in the direction of unknown events behind closed doors. You have to believe that the appeal committee is there to separate possible athletic implications and formulate a decision in the best interest of the student-athlete both on the field and off the field.
Whether you agree or disagree with Mike Bohn's description of student-athletes as investments or Josh Smith's desire to transfer to his list of schools on his terms, I think we are all in question mode about what makes this situation different from the rest of the transfers that go on with players like one of the newest Buffs in wide receiver Toney Clemons (transfer from Michigan Wolverines) or former Buff running back Marcus Houston who of all places went to Colorado State, a team who Colorado plays once a year. Even Dan Hawkins admits times have changed and it isn't just limited to his program, that kids are going for instant gratification or as he puts it "the grass is always greener on the other side."
What if Cody Hawkins wanted to transfer? Scotty McKnight? Ryan Miller? Darrell Scott? Is this now the standard for the University of Colorado? Is it the standard we want to present for future and current Buffs? I don't know.
Another question would be if Josh Smith went to Mike Bohn & Dan Hawkins and said, "Mr. Bohn, coach Hawkins, our offensive coordinator just left and we don't have a full-time wide receivers coach right now. Based on that, I would like to go to a more stable situation. I would like to go to school XYZ and try it there," would we be in the same predicament? Is it all about the music career that has Bohn, Hawkins and the administration flirting with that dangerous public relations line? Is the music career the reason we are even discussing the ramifications of this decision on the future of running back Darrell Scott, arguably the most important player for the Buffs future?
Again, all questions, no answers. It is a head scratcher with the public is certainly being the public on this one and the people behind the scenes are truly keeping it in house. It has to be right? A music career cannot be the reason for all of this posturing.
I do not think this will end positively, either way, unless we hear shortly that Josh Smith has come back on board and realized that he didn't make the right choice, blaming it on his youth and how he is ready to suit it back up for the Buffs. Other than that, I don't see how the University comes out positive in this unless we hear the rest of the story.