Wednesday, April 29, 2009

An interview with Malik Cooke

Well, here's what we can contribute to the 'standoff' between basketball player Malik Cooke and the University of Nevada Athletics. There's been a great deal of 'he said - she said' surrounding the flap, multiple opinions offered and numerous questions raised. Therefore, rather than re-visiting what has already been in print, we decided to take a simple and direct question-and-answer approach and compiled six questions to pose to Malik Cooke. It's obviously up to each individual to determine whether the following clears matters up or further muddies the waters. We talked to him Tuesday evening -- here is what he said:

PTW: What do you want?

MC: I want my formal athletic release.

PTW: Have you ever told Nevada you wanted to stay?

MC: I said I had a family situation at home and I needed to leave. I said I liked it here [at Nevada] but I had to go home.

PTW: When did you first ask to leave? Who did you ask?

MC: A week or two after the season. I said it to Coach Fox. He told me to think about it some more and make sure that was what I wanted to do.

PTW: Did you get a chance to talk with Coach Fox before he went to Georgia?

MC: No, he just left. I then asked Coach Carter.

PTW: In your mind, why isn't Nevada granting you a release? What were you told?

MC: I was told 'we don't do releases' -- that 'she [AD Cary Groth] doesn't give them out.'

PTW: Would you accept transferring and sitting out a season as long as it was on scholarship?

MC: Right.


student4ever said...

Good stuff Kevin. What is the difference between a "formal athletic release" and a "transfer".

Kevin McCarthy said...

Good question. Not approaching this with any particular knowledge or experience in these matters, I would say the terms have a similar meaning. A 'formal athletic release' would seem to be what a school issues so that a student-athlete can leave but then attend another school and remain on scholarship. A 'transfer' seems generic but, if I can add a word to it and make it 'transfer release' -- then it seems the same.

Maybe it's all simply semantics but the difference may be that Nevada believes Malik Cooke -- at least initially -- asked to be released rather than say requesting a formal athletic release. The former is a rather simple matter while the latter would allow him to transfer and be on scholarship elsewhere in 2009-2010 even if he couldn't play.

It does seem hard to believe that regardless of whatever he initially asked for and how he phrased it that Nevada wouldn't then respond by inquiring what his full intentions were. Maybe they did. Regardless, such is all speculation and not worthy of a greater time expenditure.

It's my understanding that Malik Cooke is leaving Reno right after May 14 nof ifs, ands, or buts and regardless of what designation his departure is given.

It also no longer seems 'unclear' between the two parties regarding Malik being torn between wishing to stay and needing to return east.

Even if Nevada feels there has been some 'tampering' by other schools, UN can 'control' the schools to which he can transfer by designating on the official paperwork which schools are not an option for him to attend on a basketball scholarship.

Let's see how it plays out.

Patrick H said...

Thanks, Kevin. The school should stick to their guns. I wish Malik well, but the demands for a release seem to be a ploy to allow him to go play at whatever school he wants. If he's released he doesn't have to sit out a year correct? If that's the case, then forget about it. He should file for a transfer like everyone else.

Anonymous said...

Patrick H. You need to learn the NCAA rules. The only way Cooke can play next fall at another school is if the NCAA grants Cooke a hardship. Cooke wants Reno to release him in goodstanding so he can attend another school, and be on athletic scholarship. If Reno doesn't release him in goodstanding. Cooke could still transfer, but he will have to play his own way next semester. Cooke family doesn't have the money to do that. Reno needs to release him so he could be on scholarship. I think he should apply for the NCAA hardship so he could play next season. He is transfering for a very good reason. He is trasnfering to be closer to home, because his step-father is ill. To me that is a very good reason.

Patrick H said...

First, he's got a scholarship now. Second, if he wants to leave and be on scholarship next year all he has to do is put in for a transfer and Groth has said she'd honor that request. Instead, he keeps demanding a "release". That is not the same as a transfer. Nobody is being fooled anymore, so let's stop the sympathy campaign.

We should ask, what is it about a transfer that Malik and his family are trying to avoid? Why must it be a full release rather than a transfer?

If he is granted a release, then, if what some have written is true, he can be approved to play next year.

If he gets a transfer he has to sit out a year. In BOTH cases he'd still be on scholarship, so stop it with the red herring arguments. Malik does not have to pay for a year if he'd simply put in for a transfer.

If things at home are so serious that he has to quit on his contracted obligation to Nevada, then he can use the year off to focus more on his family. It is no hardship and he'd still be allowed to practice with his new team while under scholarship.

If I'm wrong on the transfer/release rules then point out what I'm missing. Otherwise the fantasy argument that he can't get a scholarship for next year unless he gets a release is a BS story that needs to stop.