While I’m on my righteous indignation kick this morning – gee, it’s great to be back from vacation – tell me who comes off better in this exchange:
Akeel Lynch went from starter to backup at Penn State last season as freshman Saquon Barkley emerged as one of the best running backs in the country.
Facing the prospect of spending most of his final season of college eligibility on the sideline, Lynch decided to take advantage of an NCAA rule that allows graduates to transfer and be immediately eligible to play.
“I felt like I served my time at Penn State. I helped them get through the sanctions. I realized that my football skills weren’t needed at Penn State and Nevada was one of those schools where I could use my skills,” said Lynch, who has been accepted to the Reno school’s master’s in educational leadership program…
“I just think it’s got a lot of phoniness to it,” said Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, who is also the chairman of the NCAA’s football oversight committee. “If it’s about going out and employing a hired gun to come in and be a player, then that’s one set of discussions. If it’s really about continuing to pursue education, the statistics indicate that’s not happening.”
Bowlsby, of course, is the guy who leads the conference that initially voted to deny a year of eligibility to a walk-on who transferred, then voted again to leave that rule in place, until finally, after realizing how bad the optics looked, voted one more time and changed the rule, albeit with a twist.
… Instead of allowing all walk-ons to transfer regardless, the reps amended the original proposal, allowing only walk-ons without written scholarship offers from their original schools to transfer without losing a season of eligibility. If the walk-on elected to transfer after being offered a scholarship from the original school, then the player would face the league’s same eligibility restrictions that apply to scholarship players.
That’s mighty decent of them. And even with that, there were still three no votes. Why? “The opposition to the first proposal was centered on concern that without any restrictions, schools within the Big 12 would begin to recruit one another’s walk-ons with the promise of scholarships.”
Gee, Bob, I must have missed all the hand-wringing over continuing to pursue education there. Evidently, kids shopping for better opportunities for themselves is anti-academics. If, by academics, you mean control, that is. Just ask James Franklin.
“I think the thing that’s probably concerning to administrators, commissioners, school presidents is: What are we doing?” Franklin said. “Are we truly offering another educational opportunity somewhere else or is this strictly a football decision?”
Notice how nobody seems concerned about whether the student-athletes are concerned. Nor is anyone accusing coaches who object to such transfers of making strictly football decisions.
Which brings us to the noble defender of all things good in college football, Greg Sankey.
In the Southeastern Conference, if a graduate transfer does not complete the graduate program, the player’s school cannot enroll another athlete under the exception for three years.
“That is a way to say to our universities, ‘Bring people in at the graduate level who are serious about going to school,'” SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said.
If “serious about going to school” is the measure of all things student-athletes, there ought to be a lot more docking going on than just for your graduate player transfers, big guy. I’m not sure how many SEC programs could field men’s basketball teams if Sankey were serious.
But that’s the great thing about being a college sports administrator. You can utter all kinds of bullshit and never get seriously called on it.