If you believe there’s going to be a serious move to rein in what we fondly call roster management, prepare to be disappointed.
John Infante notes this little known bit of NCAA legislation:
In September 2012, the NCAA Division I Subcommittee for Legislative Relief adopted guidelines for waivers based on an assertion that the student-athlete was “run off” by their previous institution. The NCAA staff is directed to grant relief in cases where an athlete is ineligible for the one-time transfer exception due to playing a sport which does not have the exception or because it is their second (or more) transfer between four-year schools. The institution filing the waiver on behalf of the student-athlete has to include the following documentation:
- Documentation demonstrating that the student-athlete would not have had the opportunity to return to the previous institution’s team for reasons outside the control of the student-athlete.
- A written statement from the applicant institution that the student-athlete is in good academic standing and meets all progress-toward-degree requirements at applicant institution.
- A written statement from the student-athlete’s previous institution indicating that the previous institution supports the request.
Kelly Brooks, a director of academic and membership affairs with the NCAA who oversees the legislative relief staff gave some background on these waivers. This waiver is designed for athletes who have not been kicked off the team for academic or disciplinary reasons. That would be within the control of the student-athlete. Athletic performance is not considered within the athlete’s control, whether the team is oversigned, the athlete was “recruited over”, or the coach misevaluated the athlete and they do not meet the standards of the program.
In other words, the NCAA is aware of the matter and has decided the best approach is essentially to abdicate any responsibility, other than fluffing a kid’s pillow on his last night with the program.
Interestingly, the rule hasn’t been invoked much. Bad publicity, you know.
Despite having a relatively low bar compared to some other waivers and the number of athletes who transfer because they were cut from the team, these waivers are rare. The reason, according to Brooks, is that few coaches and athletic departments are willing to go on record that they cut or ran off a student-athlete who had no disciplinary or academic problems. Some will respond by agreeing to support the waiver, but will not admit to the conversation where the athlete was run off, which makes meeting the first requirement difficult.
Eventually, they’ll get over their shyness. Why not? Alabama already takes plenty of heat as it is, with absolutely no effect on its recruiting prowess, so what’s one little more step gonna cost it? And if you’re a student-athlete facing a roster management termination, the good news for you is that this is one sort of transfer that’s going to be green-lighted.
I predict we’ll soon see a significant drop in medical scholarships. It’s a miracle!