It’s for their own good.

College coaches really aren’t digging the graduate transfer rules these days.

… Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski went as far as calling the rule a “farce.” And even coaches whose teams have benefited from such transfers would like to see changes.

“I think we’ve reached a point with the epidemic of transfers that it would probably make sense to have everybody sit out a year regardless of circumstances,” said Arizona State Coach Herb Sendek, whose second-leading scorer, Jermaine Marshall, left Penn State after graduating. “We really have a free agency market in the spring.”

The Division I Leadership Council was expected to discuss the rule at the NCAA convention two weeks ago but the matter was tabled. One potential change to the rule would be to grant transferring graduate students an extra year of eligibility and then force them to sit out a season before they use it.

Yeah, free agency sucks.  If you’re a coach, that is.

Except, as John Infante notes, graduates aren’t really free agents.

… Like all other transfers, graduate transfers need permission to contact another institution. If a coach denies permission to contact and it is upheld on appeal, the athlete cannot accept an athletic scholarship at a potential transfer destination.

But let’s say an athlete is both willing to transfer without being recruited by the next institution and is willing to walk-on. They still cannot play immediately without the support of their previous institution under either the graduate transfer exception or graduate transfer waiver.

So even with a graduate, if a coach wants to be a prick about transferring, there’s nothing the student-athlete can do about it.

Which begs a question Infante is more than willing to answer.

So when coaches say they want the NCAA to restrict graduate transfers to avoid “free agency”, they are forgetting or ignoring the tools the NCAA already gives them in the transfer process, even for graduate students. What they are in fact asking for is some combination of the following:

  • For the NCAA to save them from having to make the unpopular decision to deny permission to contact or the release to play immediately; and/or
  • For the NCAA to prevent School A from letting an athlete transfer to School B and play right away even though School A has no problem with it.

Sounds about right.  After all, when it comes to control, why leave anything to the amateurs?


Filed under The NCAA

28 responses to “It’s for their own good.

  1. Joe Schmoe

    Exhibit A for those wondering why college athletes want a seat at the table when the rules are being made. Saw some people on another board saying that the players should work through their coaches and schools to put pressure on the NCAA not try to form a union. That’s ridiculous. The schools and coaches have a totally different set of motivations which often conflict with what the athletes want.

  2. Connor

    I’ve yet to hear a solid argument for why any student athlete shouldn’t be allowed to transfer at will throughout their career.

    • Normaltown Mike

      That way they are just like other students.

      You never see college students hopping from school to school, right?

      Except for attending Alabama, Georgia and Kennesaw, I was always at the same school.

    • Russ

      Geez, it’s really hard to see how the NCAA can talk about being “for the student-athletes” when they do things like this. How do they keep a straight face?

    • 202dawg

      This is just conjecture, but couldn’t it be because schools would more easily be able to recruit transfer prospects? Imagine the ugliness in THAT.

      “Steve Spurrier was in Athens earlier today, having lunch with Todd Gurley regarding the possibility of becoming a Gamecock…”

      I just puked a little…

      • Go Dawgs!

        Mark Richt couldn’t be reached for comment because he was in Columbia seeking a commitment from Jadeveon Clowney.

        Players should have the right to transfer at will. Think Alabama could just stockpile talent if kids figured out they weren’t going to be playing there but would have a one year penalty if they still wanted to play D1? The system is set up to protect coaches’ jobs. It should be for the kids. It would not be hard to make rules that other schools couldn’t recruit scholarship athletes. If you find Spurrier at lunch with Gurley, you hammer him. It is about the college kids, allegedly. So make it about the kids.

  3. Lrgk9

    Hey here is one for you…
    If the HC or Position Coach of the player leaves for another job, then the kid can leave too and w/o restriction.

    • Dawgoholic

      Don’t think that would be workable in reality. Think of the salary offers for position coaches of elite players. How much would B-Mac be in demand this year for example.

      Same issue with head coaches too, offer someone with a lot of talent on their roster a ton of money to come and then likely bring said talent with them.

      The rule would work though if the rule prohibited the player from following the coach without sitting out a year.

      Also, we’d be in a mess right now as our whole defense would be subject to transferring.

  4. Tim

    We have to remember, this is all for the good of the student athlete, right?

  5. 3rdandGrantham

    Call me crazy, but I believe college athletes should have the same latitude and overall freedom of choice that their coaches have (you know, the ones making millions a year off their hard work). Its funny how coaches bitch and moan about players transferring, and will even go so far as to restrict which schools a player can transfer to. Yet that same coach can easily jump from job to job or program to program with little to no restrictions whatsoever.

    Do as I say, not as I do, its basically the philosophy of most coaches these days.

  6. JN

    I thought the “graduate transfer” rule also stipulated the school you transferred to had to have a graduate level degree that the current school didn’t offer? Or was that the case and it’s been changed?

  7. PatinDC

    IMHO If you graduate, you have completed your obligation. If you want to attend graduate school at another college, and you have eligibility left, it should be fully applicable. This is complete nonsense. I don’t care if every player ended up doing this. It is their life after all.

  8. Biggus Rickus

    I will probably never agree with paying college athletes, but I agree with everyone above about transfer rules. It’s absurd that a player can’t change schools without a penalty.

  9. Cousin Eddie

    Some of these coaches will want the players to pay them for coaching services rendered after signing a pro contract.

  10. Does Saban have time for this shit?

  11. Nothing wrong with transferring… give the kids their right.

  12. Scorpio Jones, III

    Coaches want the NCAA to do the dirty work….they can stop the transfer, but to do so would expose the coach to charges of being a dick…which might be true.

  13. DawgPhan

    It is just really difficult to maintain the stance of not paying players when every effort is being made by coaches and the NCAA to take rights and leverage away from the players.

  14. Macallanlover

    You guys can’t be serious about this. College football would be total chaos if players could transfer at will. Players can transfer to !-AA programs, I don’t see why that doesn’t give them a satisfactory out if they wish to play more. It isn’t like they are banned from playing, or having a place to train/workout. NFL has good access into 1-AA schools so no penalty here, if they insist on a specific school, there is the option to play a year later. The only exception I would make is for strongly documented, family health issues where a student needed to be close to home for an immediate family member.

    • If it’s okay for a player to leave for a 1-AA program, why isn’t it okay to leave for a D-1 program?

      A coach can jump at will. A coach can cut a player in the offseason. Why is it only player transfers that lead to total chaos?

      • Macallanlover

        Sorry, I understand the instinct to allow complete freedom to all but this would make every year a “free agent” year for D1 CFB players. The amount of shenanigans sharks like Saban, Petrino, Urbie, etc., and their “boosters” could play with this are unlimited. Starting and backup talent would be besieged with tweets daily to “come on over” pleas to shore up weak areas. I get the disparity between coaches and players point, but it is far easier to slide a player into the system than bring a new system in annually. Would be worse than the “one and done” situation in basketball. Wildly chaotic. imo.

        • DawgPhan

          meh. giving the coaches and schools a little more headache and improving the access and leverage of students greatly seems like a good trade off to me.

        • Don’t see why you couldn’t have tampering rules in place to punish “recruiters”.

          • DawgPhan

            because common sense rarely fits into “it would be chaos” scenarios.

            • Macallanlover

              Yes, because we shouldn’t anticipate the down side of ideas, “just do it”. A lot of “feel good” ideas are disastrous down the road, but why worry about anything until you realize the genie out of the bottle? Now that is a good example of common sense from the naïve. You may have a good future in politics, please the majority for the short term, dang the consequences, it will be someone else’s problem to fix later. At least the Senator’s suggestion reflects a sense of looking forward, although I am not certain this is controllable.

              Given UGA’s stance toward athlete’s rights and treatment, I would seriously question our ability to compete with those who have a “win only” philosophy. We are at a significant disadvantage currently with recruitment policies and disciplinary actions, I feel we would be the prey picked apart by the predators.

              • DawgPhan

                Lulz at someone who thinks a small change in regulation results in “total choas” lecturing people about common sense being naive.

                • Macallanlover

                  You consider unrestricted transfer rights for players to be a small change in regulation? Are you kidding me?