The two sides of the graduate player transfer rule, in a nutshell:
“The whole idea is to play,” said Mike Martz, a former St. Louis Rams coach and a former offensive coordinator in the N.F.L. and in college.
“If a guy transfers because he wants to play and there’s a really good player” ahead of him, Martz said, “you can’t fault him for that.”
But the leverage Coker and players like Florida State’s Everett Golson and Michigan’s Jake Rudock have exerted in recent years has been threatened by a reaction from many college coaches and universities who see competitive chaos and academic de-emphasis in the movement of players.
Last year, the N.C.A.A. curtailed waivers that had allowed undergraduate transfers in high-profile sports like football and men’s basketball to play without having to sit a year. And while graduate transfers can move more freely, they can be restricted from many destinations by their current college. N.C.A.A. rules also prohibit contact, even indirectly, between a player and a potential future college, although the rule is widely flouted via third-party intermediaries like high school coaches, according to many observers who have experience with transfers.
While the stated goal of these restrictions is to encourage transfers who are academically driven and to prevent an anarchic status quo in which athletes are amenable to continual recruitment, at least one official acknowledged the rules could be altered “to minimize the abuse.”
The only thing that’s being abused is coaches’ control of players. But in the eyes of the NCAA, that’s serious stuff.