One of the more sordid tales of this college basketball offseason has been the saga of former Kentucky target Cameron Johnson. Johnson, now a graduate of Pittsburgh, spent weeks mulling over his transfer options, watching as key players like Rawle Atkins of Arizona and our own Hamidou Diallo decided to return to school for next season.
All the while, Johnson seemed to be negotiating with Pitt so that he could be granted an immediate release to transfer to North Carolina, even though traditional undergraduate protocol would mandate he sit out one year if he decided to move to another ACC school. Pittsburgh stuck to their guns, even though there is no NCAA rule to enforce graduate transfers sitting out a year.
Johnson wrote an open letter voicing his displeasure with Pitt’s handling of the situation, stating, “I started this process believing that having graduated from Pitt, I should have instantly been granted an unconditional release.”
Last night, after mounting pressure from the college basketball world, Pittsburgh caved, granting Johnson his full release. Cam will be eligible to play next season for the Tar Heels.
For a while, it seemed very possible that Johnson would step in to help fill the shoes of a departing Hamidou Diallo. Now, instead, he’ll try to help fill the void Justin Jackson left behind at UNC.