Transfer rumors have been in the works for a while, and with today's LA Times post and subsequent official release from the UCLA site, the transfers of Morrell Presley and Courtney Viney are a done deal.
Given how CRN has shaken up his staff in the offseason, transfers aren't surprising news, but major moves like this often shed some light on the internal state of the program. What we do know is that both players were having difficulties finding playing time on this roster. One positive interpretation is that our new coordinators are being upfront, honest, and communicating clearly with their players. We've seen in our major programs how a lack of communication and accountability can end up hurting the program in both the short and long run.
The concern here is that Presley, and Viney to a lesser extent, was not utilized by the coaching staff properly, leading to a lack of development and frustration for all parties. Given the poor offensive production of the past few years, it certainly appears that Presley was not given the right opportunities to succeed under Chow, Moore, and ultimately, CRN. Presley was their chance to be creative offensively, and so his lack of playing time pretty much says it all about our vanilla offensive schemes.
While transfers out of the program are rarely pleasant, I do like that Viney is due to graduate this year. Good for him.
None of this changes the expectations around CRN's upcoming make or break season, but it will help if our coaching staff understands the opportunity lost represented by these transfers and takes a hard look at the roster to make sure that they're utilizing their remaining talent properly.