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By jettisoning director of basketball operations, Houston loses leading scorer in the process

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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Joseph Young (Getty Images)

For Houston coach James Dickey, the price of bringing in a new director of basketball operations will also be replacing his top guard.

When director of basketball operations Michael Young was offered a community service role in the Houston athletic department after his contract expired Friday, the former Cougars star refused reassignment. Young instead left the school, telling the Houston Chronicle he's "disappointed" Dickey no longer wanted him on the coaching staff but that he's "moved on."

As a result of his father's departure, sophomore guard Joseph Young also will be leaving the program. Young, a former top 100 recruit, averaged a team-high 18.0 points per game and shot 42.5 percent from behind the arc last season, leading the Cougars to a solid 20-13 season.

"I guess he loves his dad more than he loves the University of Houston," the elder Young told the Chronicle. "He made a statement to me that he can't play for a coach that doesn't want his dad to be a part of the staff."

Perhaps Dickey had a really good reason for wanting the elder Young off his staff, but on the surface this looks like a really poor gamble.

Why risk alienating your leading scorer on a team with some promising young talent just to reassign the fifth-most important member of the coaching staff? A director of basketball is responsible for behind-the-scenes work in a program, but Houston is probably better equipped to have staffers pick up the slack for the elder Young than to have players make up for Joseph Young's absence.

Dickey, of all people, should know how important having Michael Young on the coaching staff was to Joseph. After all, Houston only landed Joseph Young when he reneged on his initial decision to attend Providence three years ago after Dickey hired his father to be the director of basketball operations in the first place.

What will be interesting to watch during the fallout of Joseph Young's departure is if he can get a waiver to be eligible at his new school immediately.

When Trey Zeigler left Central Michigan a year ago after the school fired his dad as head coach, the NCAA allowed him to play right away at Pittsburgh instead of sitting out the customary one-year penalty for transferring. Young's case is less clear-cut since his dad wasn't technically fired and wasn't the head coach, but he certainly has enough of a precedent to at least attempt a petition, which should make him one of the more coveted transfers left on the market.

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