There has been a lot of talk on Twitter on how the Aggies have “imprisoned” Joe Tukuafu by not allowing him to be released of his contract per NCAA rules. He will be required to abide by the one year transfer rule before he can play for BYU as planned. This doesn’t sit well with friends and family of Tukuafu as well as BYU fans because they feel this isn’t the ethical thing for Matt Wells to do even though it’s perfectly within NCAA rules.
This isn’t the first time USU refused to release a player. Upon quitting the basketball team two days before the start of the season, David Collette was immediately deprived of his remaining scholarship money for the rest of his time as an Aggie. His height and weight listed on the USU sports website was updated so that recruiters could see that his true height and weight was not as big as he said it was. Collette also wasn’t able to play for another team until the following year when he signed for the Utes.
Bottom Line: Friends of Tukuafu have a right to be mad but they need to get a grip on reality. It is a stupid rule but people thinking other rules such as speed limits are stupid won’t stop police officers from giving out speeding tickets. USU may not be ethically right but they have let other better players bolt without consequence, such as Rayshad Lewis (son of NFL great Ray Lewis) and Riley Nelson, the oldest brother of the Logan High quarterback family tradition. Getting released may have something to do with how prominent their families are. The public might not know all the reasons but the USU coaches might have good reasons to not release Tukuafu. One of those reasons might be that they don’t want to be facing him on September 29th when the Aggies host the Cougars.
It’s obvious why the Aggies wouldn’t release David Collette as he quit the team two days before the regular season started and after the Aggies lost an exhibition game to an inferior opponent. When the going got tough, Collette got going out. The reasons for the refusal to release Tukuafu are unknown but as the season goes on more light might be shed on this.