Ferentz, Harbaugh, Barta comment on Martin transfer

Oliver Martin transferred from Michigan in June, but the process isn't over.

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Ferentz, Harbaugh, Barta comment on Martin transfer

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh speaks during the second day of Big Ten Football Media Days in Chicago, Ill., on Friday, July 19, 2019.

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh speaks during the second day of Big Ten Football Media Days in Chicago, Ill., on Friday, July 19, 2019.

Katina Zentz

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh speaks during the second day of Big Ten Football Media Days in Chicago, Ill., on Friday, July 19, 2019.

Katina Zentz

Katina Zentz

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh speaks during the second day of Big Ten Football Media Days in Chicago, Ill., on Friday, July 19, 2019.

Pete Ruden, Sports Editor

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CHICAGO — Oliver Martin reached his transfer destination in Hawkeye Nation last month, but his saga hasn’t ended.

Martin’s status for this coming season is still up in the air, and both Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz and Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh said they aren’t involved in the discussion and don’t know what will happen.

Ferentz said the Martin family has hired an attorney to help with the case.

“I know Oliver has petitioned or appealed it, so we’ll just wait and see what happens,” Ferentz said. “I have no idea right now what the timetable would be or anything like that.”

On the Michigan side of the transfer, Harbaugh said the decision caught him off-guard.

“I was surprised that Oliver transferred,” the Wolverine coach said. “He really had a heck of a spring, and was at the top of our depth chart coming out of spring ball, and was doing very well in school — on his way to the Ross Business School — so that was a surprise.”

Harbaugh emphasized he has nothing to do with whether Martin plays this season, noting the compliance office discusses the case and the NCAA makes the decision.

He did, however, propose his own wave of transfer rules.

Harbaugh said he wants the transfer rules to be clear and concise for those student-athletes making the decision and his opinion is everyone should get two opportunities with an extra graduate-transfer chance.

For student-athletes’ first transfers, he said, they should be allowed to play right away, but if they transfer a second time, they should sit out for a year as the rule previously stated.

Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta has his own ideas.

He thinks the transfer process has made improvements, he said, such as a student-athlete not needing to ask for permission and the aid block.

Still, there’s more he wants to see.

“For me, the job will be complete when we make a decision — either everybody sits in every sport or nobody sits in every sport, so we don’t have to wonder,” Barta said.

Neither of those options is the path Martin is taking, though. His case is out of his hands and into those of the NCAA.

Despite Martin’s decision to become a Hawkeye, the team is preparing for a season without him. After all, Iowa entered spring ball without him on the roster and no idea he could be a possibility to round out the depth chart. But if he does play, the Hawkeyes will certainly welcome the new receiver.

“We certainly weren’t counting on him, so I think that’d be silly to be needing him,” Ferentz said. “We obviously think he’s a really good football player and a good young person. If he could help our football team, I’m all for anybody helping us, but we’re not counting on him at all. That’d be a bonus pickup if that happened.”

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