It's not typical for the transfer of a backup quarterback from a team in the bottom half of the Big East to create as much press as that of Tom Savage, the Rutgers sophomore who decided after this past season to look for a new program. But most transfers don't feature a head coach -- in this case, the Scarlet Knights' Greg Schiano -- seemingly arbitrarily forbidding that quarterback from several of his preferred schools, the quarterback's father calling the head coach a "dictator," then the father saying that he actually didn't call the coach a dictator .
And now, in the latest development, Schiano's done a little backtracking of his own. Despite his original decision being upheld (on the same day) by a Rutgers appeals committee, Schiano yesterday elected to let Savage consider previously off-limits Miami and Florida. According to Schiano, a conversation with Savage and a reminder of his quarterback's character led to the change of heart:
Schiano said he came to the decision ... after speaking with the one-time freshman All-American "and understanding his reasons better." He also said that the positive manner in which Savage has handled the transfer situation "and the quality young man that he is" played a role in changing his mind.In addition to the Hurricanes and Gators, Schiano approved six other schools he had previously barred Savage from contacting, allowing the quarterback to transfer to any of the 25 schools he had originally requested.
"I have a better understanding of his reasons for wanting to contact those schools after speaking with him," Schiano said of Savage, who has grandparents in south Florida. "Because of my relationship with Tom and everything he has meant to the program I have given him permission to contact the University of Miami and Florida."
It couldn't have hurt Savage's argument that Schiano was criticized in some corners for the reasoning behind his decision (that Schano didn't want to help Florida programs he occasionally recruits against) being overly flimsy. But it's all water under the public bridge for now, and given Savage's impressive freshman season (2,211 passing yards, a 14-to-7 touchdown-to-interception ratio), there's a good chance some program is going to benefit nicely.