COMMENTARY: Cougs lose DJ Rodman to transfer portal months after he promised to stay

A few months after committing to stay, the graduate departs



WSU forward DJ Rodman celebrates after shooting a 3-pointer during an NCAA basketball game against California, Jan. 11.

HAYDEN STINCHFIELD, Evergreen sports co-editor

WSU has lost another to the portal, and frankly, this one hurts. After saying he was going to graduate and leave the team, DJ Rodman excited Cougs everywhere when he announced his return for his fifth year on senior night.

Unfortunately, something changed. Rodman entered the transfer portal Monday, although he has yet to put out an official statement. Instead, the news was broken on Twitter by various transfer portal tracking accounts.

There is no way around it, this really sucks. Obviously, student-athletes deserve as much freedom of movement as we can reasonably offer, but there is certainly a sting when something like this happens.

Rodman took strides in his game with a career-high 9.6 points per game and 5.8 rebounds per game. As a regular starter, his minutes expanded to over 30 per game.

Speculation will run rampant, probably until Rodman explains his reasoning if he ever does. NIL will be pointed to as a primary reason, but it is important to remember there is no proof of that yet. Graduate students have plenty of reasons to transfer and this could be happening for any number of non-financial reasons.

That being said, even if it is for NIL money it is a move that should be treated with respect. Players are not on contract to play for their schools, and pursuing their best situation needs to be a right.

Cougs will not soon forget what Rodman brought, and it is a shame that he will not be there to help in another attempt at a tournament run. Obviously, with or without him, the Cougs would still have serious question marks to deal with before the season starts, but more holes do not help.