Throw momma from the train.

So, this popped up in my Twitter feed today…

That is essentially free agency.  That is also a long way from either the status quo, or even what’s been discussed as a potential change to the status quo.  Yet this is coming from an anonymous NCAA official who sounds confident it’s likely to happen.  What on earth is going on?

Well, it’s the NCAA, so you know the first thing I’m thinking of as motivation.  Evidently Brian Cook had the same flash as I.

The grad transfer rule already sucks out loud for lower-level schools. Creating open season on every all-conference football and basketball player turns the MAC into a collection of JUCOs, essentially. It’s far worse for competitive balance than paying kids would be, because you get to swoop in on anyone you missed and yoink them. You’re also inviting kids to leave whatever degree program they’re in for sports, damaging your hoary claims to academic integrity.

But it would eliminate a set of arguments against amateurism, so full speed ahead. Because keeping the money is all they care about.

I know I’m a cynical guy.  (Brian Cook may be the only college football blogger I can think of who’s even more cynical than I am.)  Yet, somehow, the NCAA consistently manages to surpass the worst I can attribute to it.  That’s some talent.



Filed under The NCAA

65 responses to “Throw momma from the train.

  1. Jack Klompus

    What’s the real driver behind this? We all know it’s not for the best interest of the student athlete.


  2. Jack Burton

    I doubt this will happen. Especially a player jumping around multiple times.


  3. As long as the penalty for tampering is extremely steep, I don’t have a problem with this. I would prefer a more balanced option:

    Grad transfer – no change other than coaches and conferences can put no restrictions on school choice

    S-A initiates transfer with no academic or behavioral issues – 1 transfer with immediate eligibility. Coach can place restrictions to conference schools and schools appearing on the schedule in the next 2 years

    S-A whose Scholarship was not renewed for other than academic or behavioral issues (typical roster management) – no restriction by coaches and immediately eligible for game participation

    S-A with academic or behavioral issues (or an S-A making a 2nd non-grad transfer) – must sit out for 1 year before eligible for game participation. Coach can place restrictions on location.


    • Mayor

      I’m fine with every one of your proposals EE except the last one. A kid should have the option to get out of a bad situation and transfer and play immediately to get a fresh start even if HE is the one who caused the problem. Besides, who gets to decide this–the coach? We’ve seen plenty of vindictive crooked coaches who would label a kid as a troublemaker just to screw him over or be able to control him. I don’t want to see that kind of coercive power put in the hands of a Hugh Freeze or Art Briles type HC.


    • AusDawg85

      Your last situation should really be simplified by stating the S-A must transfer to Auburn. It’s what happens anyway.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Jared S.

      I like your proposal. I think it would achieve a good balance of doing what’s in the best interest of all parties.


      • That’s why it will never happen. The people at the NCAA aren’t smart enough to think about a solution that gives the student-athlete more flexibility and the schools adequate protection. They generally react in self-preservation for their money or for the benefit of the member institutions.


  4. Castleberry

    Not sure I see the competitive balance argument. I imagine a lot of quality depth will also jump to starting spots at other schools where they can play immediately.


    • hailtogeorgia

      That’s a good counterpoint. It is concerning when you think of guys frontrunning though who jump ship to go to contenders.


  5. Holy moly, if the NCAA thinks they have a lot to deal with on investigations now, imagine all the tampering investigations that will follow if this rule passes. Every coach that loses a guy he didn’t want to lose is going to accuse the other school of tampering.


  6. Biggus Rickus

    So am I supposed to want players to have control over their lives or am I not? This seems like a dream for the people who constantly bitch about how the NCAA treats players, and those same people still bitch about the NCAA doing it for the wrong reasons? It seems to me that there is a knee-jerk view that the NCAA is always wrong, period.


    • Hobnail_Boot

      Ding ding ding, we have a winner.

      Some folks just can’t be happy.


    • Dolly Llama

      I thought the exact same thing, Biggus. Hasn’t the Senator (and most of the commenters, near as I can tell) been wanting this very thing? Does it matter what the motivations are?


  7. Jack Klompus

    So, is there going to be a two or a four year pro-rated payback to the bag man?


  8. JCDAWG83

    Again, raise admission requirements and they solve 90+% of the problems in big time college sports. As long as the NCAA continues to operate the free NFL farm system the arguments about paying players will continue as will the scheming to make college football more and more NFL Light. Vegas and TV want another big money sports league and they will throw enough money at it until it happens.


    • Cosmic Dawg

      The main thing you have to stop is the price fixing / collusion of the NFL. Without that, the Falcons start a development camp or farm team and pay most of these 4 and 5 stars 30k or so for a couple years to see if they can turn them into pro athletes.


    • Ricky McDurden

      Reason admissions requirements have never and likely never will be raised is a racial one; there was a huge push in the 70s or 80s to raise the admissions standard but statistics showed that the vast majority affected would be african-american HS students and it was never agreed upon for that reason. Given the sorry state that US education seems to now find itself in, I doubt those stats have improved much


  9. Derek

    I have no issue with this at all. Eason should be immediately eligible.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. PTC DAWG

    Chaos…good luck managing a roster..


  11. Former Fan

    Way past time this happened. No reason players can’t leave and play immediately at the next location. Perhaps the only stipulation would be no midyear transfers, but hey, I could be talked out of that too. Market freedom for all involved is a good thing. Sooner or later, the fake amateur show has to be brought down.


  12. Raleigh St. Claire

    It’s weird to me to focus consistently on how things are stacked against student athletes. But, when something that unquestionably favors student athletes is mentioned, the very first complaint is about how it may hurt a certain subset of schools.

    That strikes me as….intellectually inconsistent.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Dave

    This is a horrible idea and will ruin college football as we know it if allowed to continue and proliferate. If they want to make it “fair” then they can eliminate the technicality that scholarships are offered on a year to year basis, even though no school really takes away scholarships based solely on performance for obvious reasons.

    Sitting out a year isn’t like never being able to play again, and honestly, 18-19 year old kids who are used to everybody kissing their asses probably need a little extra incentive to stick it out, or consider more strongly the pros and cons of transferring. Not to mention forcing the hands of coaches to “guarantee” playing time the next year even if they know it’s an outright lie (not that they don’t do this already).

    When schools recruit a player, they do so with the expectation that he’ll actually be on the team for a while, even if it’s in a reserve role. Weird, I know.

    This is going to be a complete shit show if it happens. Again, it’s sitting out a year, not being banned from football for life.

    If they go this route, then they damn sure better increase the single-year and overall scholarship limitations.


    • Nick Saban takes away scholarships for performance or tells guys they are medically ineligible. If they want to make the scholarship a 4-year commitment, fine. Until that happens, I have no problem with changing the transfer rules.

      Liked by 1 person

      • JCDAWG83

        Do you have the names of the players Saban has taken scholarships away from for performance or players who were not injured that were deemed medically ineligible? I hear these accusations all the time but I’ve never heard them from a former Bama player. I don’t like playing second fiddle to Bama any more than anyone else but I’m not going to buy into rumors with no basis in fact.

        It would seem to me that recruiting to Bama would be pretty hard if word got out that players would lose their scholarship if they didn’t perform.


        • Do you really think all of those guys transfer on their own every spring while Saban is trying to get his #1 class in under the scholarship cap? Medically disqualified just means they don’t count under the cap anymore.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Derek

          The stories are out there. Mainly happened to Shula recruits. Go back to 2008 and 2009 and the medical redshirts and the guys leaving for South Alabama etc. The most egregious example I remember was a RS Junior OL who was processed in the spring because of a supposed injury. He was playing for Jax State that summer.

          I don’t know what they do to keep those guys from bitching too much publically. There’s some but not near as much as they should. I do remember reading that Alabama gave out more medical redshirts in one year than the other 119 teams combined.


          • Derek: had a major article on this. This was very surprising because it is Alabama and someone actually wrote something critical of Saban and Bama. However, this was before he won many NC’s.
            If memory serves me correctly, there were 11 medical redshirts in the second year. Will have to go and find the article.


  14. 69Dawg

    This is not just opening a can of worms, it’s opening a can of snakes. With this rule the recruiting will never stop. If this rule doesn’t drive Saban into retirement I don’t know what will. How are you going to keep them if they think they are all world and can play else where but not at where they are currently. I would much rather they be put on contact and paid than to see an “unlimited” free agency in college.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. DawgPhan

    This would be a good change because it helps student athletes not get locked in to a school. Guys like Baker Mayfield and Blankenship dont get jerked around by schools playing with their scholarship.

    Coaches need to work to keep these players happy if they arent going to pay them a fair wage. Also makes something like a strike or walk out much easier to pull off when players know they can all leave and go somewhere else without penalty. It’s one thing to strike when it means ending your college career. It’s another thing to strike when you have a chance to go somewhere else at the end of the season.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hogbody Spradlin

    I imagine our elephant breath friend to the west already has 6 people figuring out how to cherry pick the best prospects from other teams without getting caught tampering. If the player is from another school in the same state it should be easy: anybody who says there was tampering will be made to disappear.


  17. Derek

    For those worried, if you think that any changes that effect choices will hurt us with a guy or 2 there are 5x’s that many we can sign up.

    Kirby tells the media he needs a kicker. 5 call him that night. He says he’d really like a tall wr. 5 call that night. It’ll be like ordering fucking room service.

    As for our disenchanted? Who wants them?


  18. dubyadee

    I would not call myself an NCAA apologist, but using this as an opportunity to call the NCAA out is problematic. Over the last few years, the NCAA has taken a lot of heat over the contrast between coaches (who can take any job they like) and players (who are locked into a commitment to schools even if it is not the best situation for them).

    If the NCAA is tired of defending the indefensible and sustaining the unsustainable, if they decide to let players transfer without sitting out, then it hardly seems fair to immediately assert that they are doing it because they want to preserve the money tree that is NCAA football.

    What If they next decide to allow players to profit off of their images, or develop a compensation system (over and above the current cost of attendance regime), or a profit-sharing system paid into trusts? Are they just a bunch of money-grubbers just trying to hang onto what’s left of a slavery economy?

    If the concern is that the NCAA system is unfair to the athletes, why not applaud this development? There is an inherent struggle between preserving the traditions and competitive nature of college sports, and doing what is in the best interests of student-athletes. Allowing transfers is a move in favor of the latter at the expense of the former. For player advocates, it seems like an odd time to complain and a good time to gloat.


    • You misunderstand. Loosening the player transfer rules is something I approve of. Point of the post was simply to mention that I have doubts that if the NCAA is truly advocating this radical a change, it’s doing it purely out of the kindness of its heart.


      • dubyadee

        Of course its not doing it out of the kindness of its heart, Restrictions on transfers are good for college football as a competitive sport, but bad for the student-athletes that the NCAA says are its raison d’etre. As CFB has become a big business, doing something that is so obviously bad for the unpaid players has become untenable. So they are thinking about making a change.

        If player advocates attack the NCAA motives when it does something positive, the NCAA is in a no-win position. “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.” While I agree that the NCAA has earned that sort of treatment, it reduces the incentives for the NCAA to make positive changes.

        A carrot/stick approach may be more effective.


  19. The NCAA seems to act in hindsight a great deal and any foresight is determined by lawsuits. Just go ahead and admit it is semi-pro, pay them, and let the NFL fund them. Oh yeah, dream on to me.


  20. Bulldog Joe

    If a player is disqualified for targeting in the first half and decides to transfer to the opposing team at halftime, is he allowed to return to the game?

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Macallanlover

    You guys in favor of this are insane if you think this will not drive a stake through the heart of CFB as we know it. I won’t say it will fade away instantly, but it will not take long to become another “remember when” team sport that is now cloudy with sleaze. I have given up interest in all other team sports but NCAA golf and baseball.

    What a twisted thought to kill the sport off for everyone just to throw a mulligan to some disenchanted guy who found life sometimes throws you a curve and things don’t go according to plans. They have options folks that do not require killing the Golden Goose for misplaced snuggles, they don’t have to play D1 football. Kids that spend time in JUCO and play for 1AA schools get drafted, the NFL doesn’t miss out on talent.


    • Occam’s Tweezers

      It was going to be something anyhow, Mac. This is as good an issue as any. I predict you and I will care little about college football in a few short years. They’ve already made enough decisions to change the game for me to care less than I once did.


      • Macallanlover

        I fear you are right. I honestly don’t think it stays together that much longer anyway, the economics and social/legal issues are setting up for a big fall anyway. But this seems a very self inflicted way to go, and would hasten the timeline, imo.


  22. GeoChristNastricrialism

    Ametuerism isn’t as bad as hell.


  23. Jared S.

    College athletics is in for earth-shattering changes over the next 10 years. Judging by the current social/political landscape it’s only a matter of time before social justice champions turn their eyes on the Plantation Mentality that is modern Power-5 football and basketball.

    The funny thing is that the Plantation Mentality argument didn’t exist in the 1950s, 60s and 70s when everyone was fighting over civil rights and segregation. It didn’t exist because the eye-watering amounts of money wasn’t being pulled in by these premier college athletic programs. The blossoming and cementing of the plantation mentality has taken place in the 21st Century, as the NCAA, leagues and schools refuse to allow “student athletes” to make money off their own autograph, likeness, etc., while they help make their programs millions (and in many cases tens of millions) of dollars every year. Further, the SAs are prevented from choosing a transfer when it’s reasonable…..

    Meanwhile Coaches, ADs get paid millions. And when you ask them why the students can’t make some money or transfer freely you get banal tropes about what is really in the student’s best interest.

    Change is coming. Enjoy amateurism while you have it. College football as we’ve known it forever is not going to last.