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Frosted Flakes: NCAA Considering Transfer Rules To Make College Sports “Wild, Wild West”

You think players transfer a lot right now? Wait a year. Maybe.

NCAA President Mark Emmert News Conference Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Check this out:

And this:

DI Council moves start of basketball season | - The Official Site of the NCAA

The Council also discussed the work of the Transfer Working Group, and voted to ask the Division I Board of Directors to approve a modified legislative timeline that would allow all transfer-related proposals to be considered as a package in June 2018.

The delay would allow time for the working group and the Committee on Academics to develop and recommend a possible set of academic benchmarks that, if met, would allow students in all sports to play immediately after transfer.

What we have here is a proposal that would (potentially) allow football and basketball players to transfer willy-nilly and not have to sit out a year before being eligible to play.

Would this turn major college sports into the “Wild, Wild West” as Baylor coach Scott Drew is quoted as saying in this mothership article by Alex Kirsher?

It’s possible.

For example, what is to keep a MAC conference quarterback from transferring to a Big Ten team after a single good season and bringing other top receivers out of the MAC along with him if there are no restrictions?


Coaches are being paid millions, and that includes assistants, not just head coaches anymore. Athletic Directors are being paid millions. If this proposal is approved, it will shift some power from athletic departments and coaches to the players, so maybe that isn’t so bad. The NCAA may need to make this move for it to appear that they are doing something for the players, less everyone (ahem, congress) conclude that major collegiate sports is nothing but professional sports.

I disagree with Kirshner’s assessment that it won’t upend college sports, however. His article doesn’t have much in the way of arguments as to why such a proposal won’t. There are scholarship limits, but there is little to nothing to keep a coach from running players off and freeing up space on their team if they deem that MAC quarterback necessary to winning more games.

A conference, say the Big Ten or the MAC, could make a rule that transfers into a school must sit a year, going beyond what the NCAA requires. Conferences are not going to do that. It’d be a bad look (PR), and it might hurt them from winning.

If we wonder about “the bag man” now, what’s going to happen when a coach leaves a school and takes his best players along with him? This would have more impact in basketball than football, but you get the idea that this will always benefit bluebloods more than those trying to build their programs.

From another perspective, it might be quite beneficial for some programs and players. Players... excuse me, student athletes might find that they aren’t going to get playing time at a “name” school and chose to transfer down. Recruits are pretty young when they make their initial decision, and this might allow more of them to remove themselves from a mistake. They might actually get more out of being an athlete and in the process become better students.

By the way, with regards to those academic eligibility requirements mentioned above... it appears they are not too stringent (from Kirshner’s article):

While “nothing is official,” Rothstein wrote that the NCAA could let players with a minimum 2.7 or 2.8 grade-point average transfer without having to sit out. Those changes, he said, would go into effect August 2018.

Should this proposal pass, there will be one sure way to keep your players from transferring immediately...

Make sure they have bad grades.


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Then There’s This