The NCAA and the “VP of Common Sense”

Andy Staples has a piece up today about amending the NCAA transfer rules.  I’m not saying I agree with everything he pushes in it, but this part made me think he’s definitely on to something:

The athletic director at the previous school signs a form allowing the transferring player to play immediately.

That’s it. If the coach and athletic director at the previous school don’t care if the player contributes to his/her new team right away, why should anyone else?

If this rule was in place now, there would be no confusion about Harding’s situation. Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs and coach Gus Malzahn are human beings with functioning hearts, and neither would object to letting Harding play in 2015.

Had this rule been in place in 2012, receiver Justin McCay would have been allowed to play immediately after transferring from Oklahoma to Kansas. The NCAA denied McCay’s request for a waiver even though Sooners athletic director Joe Castiglione went to bat for McCay and requested that he be able to play immediately…

All of which makes me wonder exactly why the NCAA is in the transfer rules business in the first place.  I mean, if transfers are a matter of competitive balance, or however else you want to describe putting the brakes on kids jumping from one program to another, then in the case of a specific student-athlete, why should it be a matter of concern for the NCAA to be involved?  Doesn’t Staples’ hypothetical example make more sense?

If a hypothetical Georgia football player wants to transfer, he would request a release from his scholarship. If he decided to go to Maryland, the Terrapins could offer him a scholarship if they had one available. If the player wanted to transfer for dubious reasons, Bulldogs AD Greg McGarity could do nothing and the player would sit a year. There would be no appeal process because the only “penalty” is an extra year of free school. If the player wanted to transfer for a good reason, McGarity could waive the year-in-residence requirement and the player could suit up immediately.

That’s not exactly a rhetorical question.  I don’t know the origins of the NCAA rule, but I suspect nowadays it’s a handy place for a weaseling AD or head coach to hide instead of coming out directly to validate a decision blocking a student-athlete’s departure.  That’s hardly justification for screwing over Khari Harding’s family.



Filed under The NCAA

9 responses to “The NCAA and the “VP of Common Sense”

  1. Makes a lot of sense for sure, but you know would get a lot of pushback from the AD’s. Every time they refuse to sign to allow a player to play right away, no matter how justified and no matter what school(s) are involved, there would be a vocal group criticizing. I get Staples’ point that AD’s are already paid well to make controversial decisions, but nobody is going to willingly make their jobs harder.

    I think I’d propose the following change, to make it more palatable to the AD’s……if the player chooses to attend a school within the same conference, or is contracted for a future game with the original school, the player must sit 1 year no matter what – nobody can override it (takes the decision out of the AD’s hands). If the school they’re trying to transfer to doesn’t fall into either of those categories, then the AD of the original school has the option of waving the 1 year requirement.

    Note that I’m not suggesting this because I think it’s better, just because I think it is more feasible to be passed. In most cases, there is a school relatively close to home that is in a different conference (even if you have to drop from P5 to a lower conference), that makes it very non-controversial for the AD. Again, not suggesting this is better than Staples’ plan, especially for the well being of the student-athlete, just that it’s more likely to pass.


    • DawgPhan

      The only reason it would be tough is because they all know that there are no good reasons to not sign, but their egos dont want them to let the players go.

      If you approach the transfer from the stand point of the student athlete then the answer is always yes, with no exceptions.

      I love that CMR has that approach.


      • I don’t disagree with you at all about what’s best from the standpoint of the student athlete. Like I said, was just trying to throw out a suggestion that is better than the current situation but also more likely to be passed than Staples’ suggestion.

        However, I do wonder, if Staples’ plan were to be put into effect as proposed in the article, if Richt would extend his current policy to the point of giving a blanket approval to wave the 1 year clause for all transfers. I’m a little doubtful that he would. If somebody wanted to transfer to one of our major rivals simply for playing time, I can’t imagine Richt/McGarity would wave that clause, knowing the player isn’t truly losing a year of eligibility, they’d make him sit that year would be my guess. (Obviously that’s totally a guess though and I wouldn’t argue against anyone who disagrees, no way to prove that unless someone has the means to ask Richt)


        • Oh and by the way I’m not saying Richt would never wave the 1 yr, on the contrary of the coaches who did use it, he’d likely be the most liberal with it. I just have a hard time believing he would always use it, like he always allows transfers now. There’s a big jump from not blocking a transfer to allowing that transfer to play the very next year, depending on the situation.


  2. #SoybeanWind … taking back the waivers is leverage for dealing with their employees, um sorry, student athletes.


  3. Denial of requests, delaying requests, ignoring requests, modifying requests, regardless of how reasonable; issuing unilateral punishment edicts w/o any semblance of due process, and denying the right to counsel are all simply designed to wrest and maintain control.

    The NCAA is the Tonya Harding of College Athletics. Beware your kneecaps Bluto.


  4. Mayor

    Bottom line, as evidenced by this topic and the topic above about food, etc., the NCAA is like the Federal Government. It has wormed its way into regulating a whole lot of things that it really has no business regulating.


  5. Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs and coach Gus Malzahn are human beings with functioning hearts, and neither would object to letting Harding play in 2015.

    The naivete of this comment should be noted.


  6. jbryan94

    Maybe I’m too cynical, with everything going on at UAB, but wouldn’t relaxing rules allow collusion among schools? I understand the free market would suggest that would not be a concern, but free market makes assumptions that there are not other factors involved (such as school loyalty). If people, hypothetically speaking, think Bear Jr. used his influence to kill UAB, what would stop him from “making” a kid at another AL school transfer when Nick needs another body?