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MADISON - Although the transfer saga is now over, the Jarrod Uthoff vs. Wisconsin story is just starting to be written.
Uthoff confirmed to Badgernation.com on Wednesday night that he will remain in the Big Ten and transfer to Iowa. Though he must pay his own way, can’t talk to Iowa coach Fran McCaffery until he enrolls in school and won't be eligible to play in 2012-13 per NCAA transfer rules.
In what will amount to sitting out for two years due to redshirting last season at Wisconsin, Uthoff will have three years of eligibility remaining and likely will earn a scholarship.
By staying in the Big Ten, it ensures that Uthoff will face his old program at least once every season and will make at least one trip to his former gym in Madison.
“I guess we will have to see,” said Uthoff, responding to what he expects his reception to be at the Kohl Center.
Uthoff, who redshirted last season and requested a transfer in April, initially was restricted by Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan from contacting 26 schools — a move that drew national criticism and debate. The restricted school list featured the entire ACC and Big Ten, as well as Iowa State, Marquette and Florida.
All restrictions outside the Big Ten were lifted after Uthoff filed an appeal with Wisconsin athletic officials. He chose not to file another appeal to have the Big Ten transfer restrictions lifted.
Uthoff, a native of Cedar Rapids just 30 minutes from Iowa City, said he chose Iowa over Iowa State Wednesday evening because of its style of play, which is more up-tempo than Wisconsin. He also visited Creighton and considered Florida and Marquette, but never visited.
“Their up-tempo style of play will allow me to have more freedom to play,” Uthoff said. “I’ll be able to be more versatile as a player and have some freedom to create, do different things.”
Uthoff averaged 26.2 points, 11.2 rebounds and 3.2 blocks during his senior season in high school at Cedar Rapids Jefferson and earned Iowa's Gatorade Player of the Year honor. McCaffery originally recruited Uthoff shortly after receiving the Iowa coaching job, but Uthoff chose Wisconsin over Iowa, Iowa State, Butler, Indiana and Illinois among others.
Now Uthoff joins a talented young squad that signed four-star center Adam Woodbury (Sioux City, IA) and four-star point guard Mike Gesell (South Sioux City, NE) in the 2012 recruiting class.
"I wanted to make sure it was the right decision for me and carefully think through it," he said. “I’m excited to have made my decision and put this behind me.”