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?