As I recall, Sutton placed Robertson at Crowder College and Brewer at Westark, which was in his hometown. Neither one was academically eligible to play as a freshman anyway, and you could go to JUCO for one year and then transfer even if you were a nonqualifier (now you have to be in JC for two years and graduate if you didn’t qualify). He told them, go there for a year and I’ll sign you next year, and he did. Almost like a redshirt year, except they were player and did use up their freshman season of eligibility.
I’m saying that the dynamic in the 70s and early 80s was different than it is now. Joe Kleine got tired of Digger Phelps at Notre Dame, even though the Irish were pretty good and Joe helped them upset #1 UVa while he was there. Carey Kelly, who was a useful reserve forward for us in the early 80s, left Moo U and came to UA because they sucked and he wanted to play on a better team in a better league (SEC was Kentucky and the Nine Dwarfs at that point). You could place kids like Alvin and Boot in JC and be pretty sure they’d sign with you in a year, and they didn’t have to wait two years like they do now.
There were transfers, but certainly not the churn of people transferring then like there is now though. Mike Watley from Fort Worth quit our 1978 team and transferred right before the NCAA tournament; that impulsive move cost him a Final Four ring. I’m not sure he ever played again either.
Carey Kelly story: When we played Tulane in the Hall of Fame Bowl in 1980, I drove to Birmingham though Starkville and detoured onto the Moo U campus. Ventured into the Hump and Moo U was getting ready for basketball practice; a couple of players noticed me. Told them I was an Arkansas student checking out the campus and they asked if I knew Kelly, who had transferred the preceding year. I said that I did. They asked me to tell him hello. That Moo U team went 8-21 and got the coach fired, although they had Jeff Malone who went on to a pretty good NBA career.
Mississippi St. has really came a long ways athletically since the early 1980’s. Their football stadium then had a capacity of about 30,000. The seats along the sidelines didn’t even quite reach the goal line, they had concession stands even with the end zones. They would show up on what few games they had on TV. Most of their big games were at Jackson, as was the case with Ole Miss. As was the case with the Razorbacks, our on campus stadium was a cozy 40,000 in those days.