Right Now, The College Basketball World Hates Phil Martelli

Todd O'Brien is a senior big man for UAB, but you won't find his name in any box score from the eight games the Blazers have played this season. He's not injured or suspended. Instead, his eligibility has been held up by his former coach Phil Martelli, for whom O'Brien played at St. Joe's before taking advantage of an NCAA rule allowing players who have graduated to transfer for their final year of NCAA play without sitting out a year. (Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson used the same rule last year to transfer from NC State.)

O'Brien outlined his situation in an op-ed published yesterday at SI.com. Put simply, SJU coach Phil Martelli won't sign the waiver to allow O'Brien's transfer of eligibility and the NCAA rejected his appeal. The college sports media community responded to O'Brien's screed quickly:

Others voicing support or sharing the link include Bruce Feldman, Doug Gottlieb, Bomani Jones, Jim Dunaway, and Dan Wetzel.

St. Joseph's president John Smithson responded that the university was within full compliance with the rules, but neither Martelli nor AD Don Dijulia are commenting.

CBSSports.com, citing "sources," reported today the issue may lie in O'Brien's possible involvement in a laptop theft or other suspicions of disloyalty, but the point now is moot—plus O'Brien was cleared of the charges, according to his attorney.

Todd O'Brien graduated from St. Joseph's, is enrolled at UAB in a public administration Master's degree program, and would immediately help a terrible UAB team that isn't scheduled to play St. Joe's this season and has little chance of making the NCAA tournament. Phil Martelli's refusal to sign O'Brien's waiver is ridiculous, and his bashing by college basketball's biggest names is fully warranted.