October 24, 2013

TU hopes for big boost from juco transfers

Since Nolan Richardson rolled into town in 1981 with four of his best players from Western Texas College, instantly transforming the University of Tulsa basketball fortunes, the role of the junior college transfer has been front and center in many of Tulsa's most glorious athletic moments.

Juco transfers played huge roles in one of the most talent-laden football teams in TU history. The 1991 10-2 Freedom Bowl squad would not have been the same without future NFL wide receiver Chris Penn, future NFL defensive end Tracy Scroggins, future CFL player, Olympic athlete and national kickboxing champion in linebacker Todd Hays and free safety Dennis Hickey.

The next year, Tulsa eliminated its degree in Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER), hampering the ability of coaches in football or basketball to sign juco recruits. The fortunes of the football team plummeted.

On the basketball court just prior to the elimination of HPER, J.D. Barnett relied heavily on...

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