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Sad Ending to Dominique Ferguson’s College Story

“Seriously, you’re not going to grant my transfer request? SMH…”

You guys remember Dominique Ferguson right?  This Indianapolis kid committed to Billy Gillispie at a young age.  Hailing from Greg Oden’s alma mater, we all had high hopes for Dom.  In fact, I believe he was the highest ranked kid to commit to BCG outside of Patrick Patterson.  Ferguson once sat in the Top 20 of his 2010 high school class (Marc Maggard even said he had potential to crack top-10 or top-5 when he first committed I think, #wrongonpurpose), but fell off to four-star status after decommiting from UK once Calipari was hired.

Ferguson eventually decided on FIU and Isiah Thomas, who has recently been fired and replace by (lil) Richard Pitino.  Unhappy with Isiah’s departure, Ferguson asked for a transfer.  In strange fashion, Dominique Ferguson’s transfer request was denied by FIU and he will now enter the NBA draft.  This is a sad state of events for the kid.  He came to play for Coach Thomas, an NBA legend, and he is no longer there.  Preventing the kid from furthering his college career somewhere he feels more comfortable is not only reasonable but expected, especially during a coaching change.

Check out this AP article on the messy matter.  It sheds some light on Dom’s story and family struggles at FIU.  Here are a few interesting quotes:

“I wanted to play for Isiah Thomas,” Ferguson said.

And with that no longer an option, Ferguson wanted out of FIU.

Ferguson said he cited academic, family and basketball reasons for wanting to transfer to a school closer to home. A native of Indianapolis, Ferguson said he had seen his family five times in the past three years and that he told the appeals board he needed “a better support system.”

“After much discussion with my family and support base we have decided to hire an agent and attempt to play professionally in the states or overseas,” Ferguson wrote in a news release announcing the decision.

I don’t really understand this move from FIU.  After the initial denial, Ferguson appealed and even had a meeting with FIU’s president.  And he was still denied.

Why?  Is there a logical and justifiable reasoning behind this?  I’m not going to point fingers at Little Richard, but it makes you wonder.  It wouldn’t be the first time he’s done a disparaging act to a young kid (*couch, Eric Bledsoe’s transcript, cough*).

Ferguson averaged 8 points and 5.6 rebounds last season.  While he is certainly talented, something we all saw when following his recruitment and time at Lawrence North HS, it’s hard to believe he is ready for the NBA.  And it doesn’t seem Ferguson is confident in his NBA’s chances either.  Notice his inclusion of “or overseas”.  Now a kid who once had a bright college future is throwing his career to the sharks because he cannot transfer to a new school.

Throw in the fact that Ferguson has only seen his family five times in three years, this looks like a bad move by FIU.  Good luck, kid.


Article written by Chris Thomas

24 Comments for Sad Ending to Dominique Ferguson’s College Story

  1. RobsHairgel
    9:35 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Wait,Bledsoe received a free couch?!

  2. hotdog23
    9:36 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    It’s like he was taken to a Cincy clinic and done away with by a Pitino

  3. Ridge Runner
    9:37 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    1…No worries. It was burnt when we beat Loserville in the FF.

  4. uklaw95
    9:41 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    So it’s okay for Pitino to let the media scream for UK to let Marvin Stone (RIP) transfer to UL but Little Ricky can do it?

  5. DJ Cheesy Poof
    9:45 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    That is complete crap. Let the kid transfer why wouldn’t you. Colleges are here first and foremost to educate and here you have a kid that wants to further his education at another institution but because he plays ball he can’t.

  6. blueneck
    9:45 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    lame. this should be all over ESPN and hurt lil Richard’s recruiting – but it won’t be. So the school gives the kid a year-to-year scholarship that can be taken away at any time. But the kid can’t leave the school that has swapped coaches on him. Not good.

    You didn’t see Cal keeping the Courey Flurry from transferring to his school of choice.

  7. UK Homer
    9:45 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    I think he should be able to leave if he wants, but what’s wrong with playing for a D1 program on scholarship? It’s not like he HAS to go pro because Thomas is gone. 1.5 Stacks isn’t that bad of a coach, is he?

  8. 44 Stitches
    10:07 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Hahaaaah… I hope this dude can turn crumbs to bricks because he sure isn’t getting drafted.

  9. BooBoo
    10:08 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Ferguson began his attempt to transfer began with a meeting with Garcia the week after the April 6 firing of Thomas. When Garcia told him no, Ferguson appealed the decision and later met separately with the school president and with Pitino to no avail.
    Since Pitino wasn’t hired from Louisville until April 16, Ferguson said his role in the process has been minimal.
    “He has no say on any of this,” Ferguson said. “We did have a meeting when he got here. He said he was going to try to help me get my release. I don’t know how true that is, but at the end of the day, it all depends on our athletic director, who has no intention of giving me my release.”

  10. Carl
    10:14 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    The NCAA needs to set up an independent appeals board of some sort. This is ridiculous. But the AD sounds like a real dick so I’m not surprised. Little Dick Pitino should fit in nicely down there.

  11. where's waldo
    10:17 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    this is an instance where the NCAA needs to step in and look out for the best interest of the “student athlete”…he obviously wants to remain in college but is left no other option by the university.

    agree with you #6

  12. gridiron_cat
    10:18 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Wow! Little Dick living up to his reputation but he still has a LONG way to go if he is going to live up to his daddy’s expectations. You reap what you sow.

  13. JBR
    10:44 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    I agree, this is a load of crap what FIU is doing to him…but, people make decisions and have to live with them. At one point, he could have still signed with UK…or probably have gone to other strong programs that at least know how to run a program…instead, he chose the gimic, going to an unknown university with a gimic coach. Tough lesson kid…hope other kids learn from your troubles.

  14. dave
    10:48 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    i dont get it. everyone rips on UK’s FR for not being “student athletes”. yet, this is a clear case of an university not treating a player like a student athlete either.
    if an amateur says “i’d like to move closer to home” then how is a university looking out for his interests by keeping him??

  15. soggyUKgrad
    11:58 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    “Preventing the kid from furthering his college career somewhere he feels more comfortable is not only reasonable but expected?!?!?”…i’m sure you meant to say that ALLOWING the kid to transfer is reasonable and expected?!?

  16. Kidnut
    7:52 am April 25, 2012 Permalink

    Ricky Jr. seems to have even less strength of character than his father, impressive.

  17. REAL BLY
    8:06 am April 25, 2012 Permalink

    I thought a rule was in place that if a coach leaves or is fired, kids get a free release if desired without 1 year penalty of sitting on the pine??? I guess not…

  18. barn
    8:24 am April 25, 2012 Permalink

    why is it sad? he was only there as a stopoff on his way to pro bball. poor guy, now he has to go ahead and become a multi millionaire this summer instead of playing another year with stacks jr

  19. Mr. Obvious
    8:58 am April 25, 2012 Permalink

    Rick and Little Richard could have done more. He is the new coach which Rick helped him get due to his relationship to the A.D.. If Rick and Little Richard would have stepped up for this young man then he would have his release…..Period.

  20. BingleJells
    9:25 am April 25, 2012 Permalink

    Any college that would have anything to do with Thomas or Pitinito is a bad choice.

  21. Drew
    11:04 am April 25, 2012 Permalink

    18 – wrong.

    He probably won’t make the NBA, FIU isn’t much of a “stopoff” and he won’t be a millionaire this summer unless he gets extremely lucky.

  22. MKG
    11:23 am April 25, 2012 Permalink

    Wow does he look like me in this picture!

  23. UkAlum92
    2:54 pm April 25, 2012 Permalink

    His argument that he needed to be closer to home and have a “support” system is thrown out of the window…How close will he be to his family if he is playing ball overseas? SMH

    3:43 pm April 25, 2012 Permalink

    Too bad he didn’t play for Cal…….he would be making millions right now.