The NCAA appears to have embraced the approach of dealing with coaches on rule changes by lumping proposals they like with proposals they don’t, but requiring an up-or-down vote on the whole enchilada. That’s what happened with the last batch of recruiting proposals, and it appears to be what’s in store for some changes to the transfer rules.
The Division I Council Transfer Working Group will ask the membership for feedback on several potential concepts designed to create the best outcomes for both student-athletes and schools involved in the transfer process.
The group set its plan during its June 25-26 meeting in Indianapolis.
The working group focused on concepts in these general areas:
- Permission to contact, including the tie with a college athlete’s athletics scholarship.
- Postgraduate eligibility.
- Ethical recruiting.
- Uniformity of rules/academic impact of transfer.
What’s likely to get hackles up fast and hard is the consideration by the working group to decouple financial aid from permission to contact.
One of the ideas posed is to modify permission to contact rules. Currently, Division I college athletes who wish to transfer to another school must first receive permission from their current school to talk with other schools about opportunities for transferring. If the school denies permission, the student-athlete can’t receive athletics aid after transferring.
Group members believe financial aid should not be tied to whether a school grants permission to contact. They want to know if others in the membership feel the same way. The group also agreed that enhancements should be made to the formal process students use to notify a school of their desire to transfer. The group will seek input from the membership on appropriate enhancements.
Yeah, that’s gonna go over well in certain quarters.
But along with that comes some direction for uniformity across the conferences with regard to transfer rules and some greater stiffening of graduate transfer rules, which seems likely to slow that trend down some.
Perhaps the most intriguing thing under consideration is this:
The working group expressed concern regarding unethical behaviors related to coaches recruiting student-athletes currently playing at other four-year schools.
The group expressed interest in increasing the consequences for coaches who break recruiting rules to seek out undergraduate and potential graduate students. The working group will ask the Committee on Infractions and enforcement staff to review the concept and provide feedback.
The group also is placing a priority on developing additional education for coaches, spearheaded by coaches associations, on rules in the transfer space.
Anti-poaching rules? If you want to cut down on the free agency aspect of transferring, it makes more sense to crack down on the coaches (remember Mark Fox’ crack about recruiting while going through the post-game hand shake?) than student-athletes. Still, if this winds up with real teeth, I’ll be a little surprised.
I can’t wait to hear the hypocrisy coming, though.