The Bates transfer has created headlines and mass reaction from Cyclone fans over the last day. Myself, I'm not necessarily angry or overly bothered by it. It's not as though the possibility of Bates transferring has never been broached by people following the team. I am mostly confused by it and bothered by two things.
The two things that bother me are:
- The timing - I don't feel like Bates necessarily owes ISU or the fans anything. But I do believe he owes his teammates the respect of finishing the year. He will obviously have friends on the team and he has actively been involving in hosting recruits. Obviously he didn't take that responsibility seriously.
- Not telling the coaching staff himself. I understand that it would be hard to approach somebody like Chizik and tell him you're quitting the team. However to have your dad call Pollard and have Pollard relay the message to the staff... I'm sorry there is no other way to describe that than gutless.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not intending to rip the kid. I think there is more at work here than just Bates making a decision as his father was heavily involved. Those two things irk me but don't necessarily impact Cyclone football other than emotionally and I hope the rest of the team is emotionally mature enough to handle him cutting out.
The thing I really don't understand is the reasoning behind leaving now. For one it does not reflect well on him at his future stop. He also cannot practice the rest of the season and even if he were a backup I would think time spent on the field would help him get better as opposed to time spent otherwise.
Something else bothering Cyclone fans is the rumors that he is looking at Nebraska. I don't doubt that he is, but let him go there if he wants to. I think he'll find that sitting to play one year would probably have been a tremendous waste of his talent and I highly doubt Nebraska doesn't have at least one other quality quarterback coming in or on the roster. Nothing is going to be given to him even if he's from Omaha.
Honestly best of luck to Phil. I don't think he's a bad kid, he helped ISU many ways off the field, and he conducted himself with class on and off the field until this moment. Do I think he made a mistake leaving in the middle of the year? Yes, but he's confident enough I doubt it will effect him. And since he was obviously beaten out by Arnaud on the field... I don't think it will effect Iowa State football as much as some believe either.