“For the first time ever in college athletics, the student-athlete is empowered.”

Dennis Dodd reports that yet another transfer proposal is in the works:

Athletes would be allowed to transfer schools without restriction if their coach were fired or left for another job as part of sweeping proposal that is making its way through Division I, CBS Sports has learned. However, athletes would not be permitted to follow the departing coach to their new program.

The proposal, which originated from the Big 12, would also allow athletes to transfer without sitting out a season (as currently mandated by NCAA rules) in the event a postseason ban is handed down by the NCAA as punishment to their program.

The traditional academic “year in residence” for transfers in all other situations would still be in place and extended to every sport. Presently, that is only a requirement in five NCAA sports.

Bill Connelly has the specific language.  Athletes would be able to transfer without sitting out as long as they met one of the following guidelines:

1. the student-athlete earned a baccalaureate degree at the original institution;

2. the student-athlete’s head coach at the original institution resigned or was fired during or after the most recent season of competition, except that the student-athlete is not immediately eligible at another institution at which the head coach is employed;

3. sanctions have been imposed on the original institution that limit post-season competition in the student-athlete’s sport;

4. the student-athlete did not receive athletically-related financial aid at the original institution; or

5. an exception in bylaw 14.5.5.2 or 14.5.6 is satisfied.

Dodd goes on to write, “Skeptics note it is merely a proposal, not the proposal.”, to which I can only say, no shit.  Coaches are unhappy with any loss of control over player transfers; can you imagine what the reaction of athletic directors will be to item no. 2?  Put it in a very understandable context:  how do you think Butts-Mehre would have handled the Richt dismissal if every player had the free opportunity to leave the program afterwards?  (No doubt Greg McGarity could have turned on his legendary charm and convinced the entire team to sit tight and trust him.)

So count me among the ranks of the skeptics.

The NCAA is stuck flailing around floating this stuff on a regular basis because on the one hand, it knows the transfer policy currently in effect is untenable, given how everyone else in collegiate sports can move without restriction by the organization, but on the other, is stuck promoting changes that those very same constituencies are going to oppose.  I’m sure it’s all meant with the best of intentions, though.

3 Comments

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3 responses to ““For the first time ever in college athletics, the student-athlete is empowered.”

  1. DoubleDawg1318

    These rules make a lot of sense. Hope they pass. I would also like to see a proposal to allow recruits out of their NLI if their primary recruiter left the school before they enrolled.

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  2. Bright Idea

    So a school and its fan base would get punished when a coach leaves for greener pastures or gets fired for not winning enough. The mid majors will get killed as they seldom keep a winning coach more than 2-3 seasons. Their rosters could become revolving doors.

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  3. Former Fan

    Nice start. But if you fire the coach, run him off, etc. then why keep the kid from following him? Now, if the coach leaves of his own accord, OK, the school might have a case for keeping the kid from following the coach. Coach leaves of his own accord, there’s a fee paid back to the school, so it can be that way with the athletes too. But fire the coach, and all the kids he signed should be able to transfer anywhere, including a school where fired coach is hired.

    What they are overlooking is it is rare for a fired coach to be hired so quickly as what happened with CMR. It would have probably really hurt UGA, and that would have been bad. But it would have been entertaining to watch all those in BM try to deal with the fall out.

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