They’ll decide when you’ve paid your dues, kid.

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.


Filed under Academics? Academics., College Football

11 responses to “They’ll decide when you’ve paid your dues, kid.

  1. Jared S.

    “I’m not sure how many SEC programs could field men’s basketball teams if Sankey were serious.”

    Ah! But, if you look carefully, he was saying only that graduate transfers needed to be serious about school. Ha!


  2. DaddyRichATL



  3. Go Dawgs!

    This is all such horse shit. Once a kid has graduated, he’s done with your school. If he wants to stick around and go to grad school at your place, fine. If not? Wave goodbye. If you’re a Power 5 football program and your team truly needed that kid, then he wouldn’t be looking for more playing time elsewhere. Don’t force him to sit on the bench. And if you’re a lesser program and you’ve got an athlete who has developed and played his way into an opportunity for something bigger, like a Tyler Catalina at Rhode Island, are you really going to stand in his way? After all, for a player to have gotten an opportunity to play at a major school, he would have had to have already done some mighty fine service for your program. Let him reap the reward and tell the next recruit coming in to his spot that someday they may end up in the SEC with a shot at an NFL opportunity, too.


    • Cojones

      Yeah, but if Tyler doesn’t finish his grad studies after he has played his one season of eligibility, we cannot take another transfer for 3 yrs. Your first sentence continues to be applied.


  4. Cojones

    Btw, how is our Va QB transfer doing in his progress towards a degree and, if he doesn’t complete it, you mean to say that we can’t take another transfer for 3 yrs? And when is that adjudication made under what time frame? This is getting thornier than trying to write civil rights legislation that appeases holdout Southern segregationists.

    These cutesy little twists placed in wording towards athletes are like the riders placed on a bill to unravel laws and programs that are already law, i. e., Obamacare, civil rights, etc. Will the student reps that are attending SEC or NCAA meetings have the authority to revue and undo those “twists”?


    • rchris

      And what about Catalina, who wants to a shot at the NFL. He can’t get a grad degree in one semester, although he might possibly come back later and earn it. Will UGA be barred for 3 years until he does, and if he does, how do they get those 3 years back?


  5. Connor

    So sad. I used to say that every year it got harder to maintain the cognitive dissonance required to enjoy football and ignore it’s true nature. I think the only thing that’s changed is that now it gets harder by the day.


    • @Connor: so true. This will be the first year since the early 60’s, that I will attend no college football games. Even watching on TV has gotten old. Baylor,UT, and others have done me in.


  6. Cousin Eddie

    Any coach that does not work out his contract and is hired by another school in the SEC can not hire another coach to fill that position if he doesn’t finish his contract with that school. Sounds the same to me, let’s pass that rule also.


  7. rchris

    “…gee, it’s great to be back from vacation” Thanks for your dedication, Senator. You are much appreciated, although we don’t always say so.