Four Michigan players part of large exodus from Goshen College

May 11, 2012 in NAIA

By Patrick Hayes

Transfers happen fairly frequently in college sports. Teams, schools and players aren’t always the right fit. It happens.

But when five players all decide to leave? Well, that’s a bit strange, but it’s exactly the situation NAIA school Goshen College finds itself in. Four of the five players are from Michigan — Mike Betcher, Garner Small and Kody Chandler from Schoolcraft and Casey Pratt from Portage Central all announced they were leaving the school last month.

The school’s student newspaper reported on the mass departures:

Several of the players expressed their disagreements with the coaching staff and with what they perceived as a lack of development throughout the season.

“We had the best team in the nation … but our practices were not intense,” Hall said. “We never worked on individual skills, and we basically only worked on shooting.”

Chandler said that the job of developing skills individually was, in his view, often left to players.

“In the beginning of the year, just coming to watch the game, you could tell we were a lot more talented than the teams we were playing and that got us by,” he continued. “But when teams continue to keep working and make adjustments, they’re going to be the better team in the second part of the season because they’ve gotten a lot better. We never got better. We were just the same team the whole year.”

Small said, “Other teams adapted and we didn’t.”

As is often the case in these situations, players weren’t comfortable with their roles on the team:

“That was our huge issue,” Chandler said. “[The coaching staff] kept telling us how deep we were and, yeah, we probably had guys that can play; but even teams that have 10 or 11 guys that can really play…you want to get a rotation down.”

Pratt said, “People just couldn’t get into rhythms on the floor.”

Small, who generally came off the bench, added, “We never had a rotation. It was whoever [the coaching staff] felt like playing at the time.”

Players were obviously unhappy with the environment, but it’s still pretty crazy they’d all leave. Goshen would’ve been returning significant talent from a team that had its moments last season, including a 13-game winning streak and beat the defending national champs, Cornerstone.