Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 4/21/12
MADISON, Wis. A whirlwind week of unwanted media attention put Wisconsin freshman forward Jarrod Uthoff and Badgers basketball coach Bo Ryan in the national spotlight over a player transfer restriction disagreement. The fallout from the squabble between the two appears to be a relationship damaged beyond repair, according to Uthoff.Uthoff spoke with FOXSportsWisconsin.com Friday night and refuted some of the claims made by Ryan to the media earlier in the week regarding the matter, including Ryan's claim he offered to cut his vacation short to speak with Uthoff face-to-face.Uthoff said he intended to speak with Ryan in person the morning of Monday, April 9 to inform the coach of his decision to transfer. But a team manager told Uthoff that Ryan was on vacation, prompting Uthoff to call Ryan that day instead."The conversation just consisted of him saying that he couldn't do anything until he got back on Saturday," Uthoff said. "He said, I'll just see you on Saturday and I'll let you know when I get back. Then we'll have a conversation.' That's how the conversation ended. "His reports stating that he offered to come back from vacation, that was never a part of the conversation. The other thing is, he hasn't tried to contact me since he got back. You can have my phone records. He has not tried to contact me, and I have not received a call from him. Anybody can have my phone records. There's nothing to hide."Him offering to come back from vacation sooner, there's no reason I wouldn't have accepted that. Because I wanted to get the process sped up. That's the whole reason why I called him."Though some questioned why Uthoff didn't come to Ryan earlier given that Wisconsin's season ended March 22, Uthoff said he hadn't yet decided to transfer. But after conferring with family members, he realized his skill set would be better utilized elsewhere. Uthoff took a redshirt year last season."I had been thinking about it and made a decision when I hadn't had a chance to see him," Uthoff said. "I wanted to do this in person."When he called Ryan with a decision April 9, he hoped it would speed up the transfer process to look at other schools. The spring signing period for high school seniors began April 11."The longer you wait, the less opportunities you have because there's always people committing and signing," Uthoff said. "I wanted to make a decision to wherever I transfer by the summer."Uthoff, who met with assistant coach Gary Close in the following days, said he thought he would hear from Ryan on Saturday, April 14. But he was surprised to learn that he was granted his transfer release on Thursday, April 12 via email from an athletic department member, without speaking to Ryan. He was further surprised that the email contained a list of 26 schools restricted by Ryan: the entire Big Ten and ACC, plus Iowa State, Marquette and Florida."Coach Close mentioned a little bit about Coach Ryan can restrict some schools," he said. "But I didn't know to what extent he would restrict schools until I got the email on Thursday saying that I had been released and you have permission to contact these schools and these schools have been denied. "(Ryan) told me that nothing could be done until he got back. So I was just going to have to wait. Then all of a sudden I started getting calls from college coaches Thursday morning. I was shocked. I couldn't believe I got released."Ryan told media members that his reason for restricting schools was done, in part, because he wanted Uthoff to explain to him why he wished to attend certain schools on his list. He said the only way to get Uthoff to talk was to restrict schools and thereby force Uthoff to appeal, although appeal conversations were held without Ryan present."The thing is, if he wanted me to explain that, he could have just called me into his office to explain it to him," Uthoff said. "He didn't have to restrict the schools. If he wanted me to explain why I wanted to go to all the schools that he was going to restrict, all he would have had to do was call me into his office, and I would be more than willing to go into his office. "He was my coach for a year. I thought we had a pretty good relationship. I would have been more than willing to come into his office and explain why I would want to go to each school. So I'm not really sure about that. If he blocked the schools, then I would have to explain it to the AD and the sports administrator not him. If he wanted the rationale, he could have just called me into his office."On April 19, Uthoff met with athletic director Barry Alvarez and assistant athletic director Justin Doherty to appeal his transfer restrictions. Doherty, Alvarez and Ryan then met and lifted all transfer restrictions except for those in the Big Ten.Uthoff said he didn't contact Ryan again because he expected Ryan to get in touch with him upon returning from vacation on Saturday. "Then when he got back on Saturday, I didn't hear from him," Uthoff said. "Nor have I still. I haven't received a phone call from him. And if anyone wants to know, they can just check my phone records. I'd be more than willing to give those to anyone."Uthoff declined comment when asked if he thought his relationship with Ryan was over. The 6-foot-8, 200-pound Uthoff has a visit scheduled with Creighton on Monday. He said he plans on visiting Iowa State one of the schools Ryan initially restricted some time in early May. He also intends on visiting other schools before making his final transfer decision. Uthoff, who will be forced to sit out next season under NCAA transfer rules, said he didn't yet know whether he would appeal the Big Ten transfer restrictions. He has eight business days from the April 19 appeal decision to do so. Though Uthoff said he would leave Wisconsin feeling like he had a good experience, the ending certainly leaves a bitter taste."I never thought I'd be going through this process," Uthoff said. "It was completely new to me. I basically was going in there blindfolded. I didn't know many of the rules or anything about the transferring process. It was a learning experience for me."Follow Jesse Temple on Twitter.
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