Sandi Marcius (Getty Images)
When Sandi Marcius announced his intent to transfer from Purdue earlier this month, the center's plan was to earn his diploma this summer so he'd be able to play immediately at his new school without sitting out a full season.
Two weeks later, Marcius has encountered an obstacle he apparently didn't expect.
Purdue reportedly will only honor Marcius' scholarship through the end of the spring semester, meaning the Croatian big man will have to foot the bill himself for the summer classes he needs in order to graduate. Tuition, books and room and board could cost more than $7,000, a hefty price that would likely require Marcius to take out a loan to cover.
Completing his degree this summer is especially important for Marcius because his college basketball career would be over if he has to sit out next season. College athletes have five years to complete their four seasons of eligibility, and Marcius already redshirted one full season at Purdue.
It would have been benevolent of Purdue to extend Marcius' scholarship through the end of the summer, but the school is certainly under no obligation to do so.
Marcius made the decision to transfer voluntarily after losing his starting job to freshman A.J. Hammons early in the season. Not only did Matt Painter want Marcius back next year as a backup, the Purdue coach urged Marcius to reconsider when he first broached the idea of leaving the program.
"We have invested four years and significant resources into helping Sandi develop from both an educational and athletic standpoint," Painter said in a statement announcing Marcius' transfer on April 11. "Certainly, having Sandi here for a fifth year was in our plans and we anticipated him having a great final year in our program. We wish him the best in his future endeavors."
By going public with his displeasure over Purdue not extending his scholarship, Marcius is clearly hoping the school will acquiesce rather than risking a public relations hit. It's the same strategy Wisconsin transfer Jarrod Uthoff successfully employed last spring when Bo Ryan severely restricted which schools he'd grant permission to speak to the forward.
The difference here is public sentiment probably isn't going to be so heavily on Marcius' side because it's easy to see both sides of this argument.
It would be a nice gesture by Purdue to go out of its way to help a player who spent four years playing for the Boilermakers. At the same time, you can't blame Purdue donors who aren't exactly eager to fund the scholarship of a player who has chosen not to be a Boilermaker any longer.
- Financial Aid