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Miami won’t allow Gus Edwards to transfer to 2017 opponents (like Syracuse)

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Whelp, so much for that.

NCAA Football: Miami at Virginia Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Graduate transfer running back Gus Edwards has reportedly been blocked by Miami from transferring to any opponent on the Hurricanes’ 2017 schedule, Scout’s Michael McAllister reports.

That list of blocked schools includes Syracuse, as both SU and Miami are members of the ACC and will play each other this upcoming season.

The Palm Beach Post confirmed McAllister’s report, including a statement from Miami Athletic Director Blake James.

“Institutionally, our policy has been that we would not do that for a school we’re going to play in the upcoming season,” James said.

The Orange were initially considered one of the early favorites to land the 6’1”, 230-pound Edwards. The former three-star Class of 2013 running back was originally committed to Syracuse back in high school, before flipping his commitment and signing with Miami.

Edwards, a Staten Island (Tottenville High School) native, reportedly enjoyed his time at Miami, but wants to transfer to a school in the northeast to be closer to his girlfriend and newborn son.

Miami coach Mark Richt and the Hurricanes coaching staff have now made that more difficult. In addition to Syracuse, fellow northeast college Pitt is also on the list of schools Edwards is restricted from transferring to.

Both schools would have appeared to be logical fits for Edwards. In addition to their northeast proximity, and the fact each school offered Edwards a scholarship during his initial recruitment process, both could use help at the running back position. Syracuse ranked No. 115 in rushing yards per game (119.6) and No. 123 in yards per attempt (3.2) last season, while Pitt (albeit fared much better, averaging more than 220 rushing yards per game) is losing its leading rusher and 2014 ACC Player of the Year James Conner to the NFL Draft.

Edwards totaled 977 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns, averaging 5.3 yards per carry, in his four years at Miami.

Ironically, Richt took an exact opposite stance on transfer restrictions when speaking with the media in August, saying “life is too short” and players should be free to to transfer to any school they want.

“I have unconditionally released every guy that ever wanted to leave,” Richt said. “I’d call the commissioner (of the conference) and say, ‘Hey, if the kid wants to go…let him go wherever he wants to go.’”

Wherever he wants to go...except to any of Miami’s 2017 opponents.

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What do you think of Richt’s decision to block Gus Edwards from transferring to any of Miami’s 2017 opponents? Do you think it’s a smart coaching decision, or an insensitive move? Let us know in the comments below.