Cameron Johnson Wants UNC Transfer, Pittsburgh Trying to Block Move

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 6, 2017

Pittsburgh's Cameron Johnson (23) plays in an NCAA college basketball game against North Carolina, Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

Pittsburgh guard and graduate transfer Cameron Johnson has decided on North Carolina, according to Jeff Goodman of ESPN, but Pittsburgh has put in an appeal to block him from transferring to another ACC school.

"It's still in limbo, but Coach (Roy) Williams and the staff are confident I will be able to play next year at North Carolina," Johnson told Goodman. "I trust them."

Goodman offered more context on the bizarre standoff: 

In a letter, Johnson made the case for his transfer, saying the school was trying to make him "serve a year of residence prior to being eligible for competition."

However, Johnson noted the NCAA ruled on June 2 that Pittsburgh's attempt to do this did not apply to graduate transfers. The letter also states that based on the incorrect reading of the rule, it meant Johnson should have been allowed to transfer to an ACC school.

AndrewCarter of NewsObserver.com shared the full letter:

Goodman also noted that Johnson said he is willing to go the "legal route if necessary" if Pittsburgh continues to attempt to block his transfer. That might put a strain on the relationship between the schools, with Goodman concluding, "The interesting aspect here is that North Carolina coach Williams and Pittsburgh coach Kevin Stallings are close friends."

Johnson had a breakout season for the Panthers in 2016-17, averaging career highs in minutes (33.3), points (11.9), rebounds (4.5), assists (2.3), field-goal percentage (44.7) and three-point percentage (41.5). With the Tar Heels, he'd be joining a similarly experienced backcourt, led by Joel Berry III and Kenny Williams.

With talented youngsters in Jalek Felton, Seventh Woods and Brandon Robinson also on the roster, the Tar Heels could be loaded in the backcourt next season.

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