You can have my free agency, when you pry it from my cold dead fingers.

I hate to pick on Kirby, since he’s actually one of the better actors when it comes to player transfers, but, still.

Smart said it would be especially tempting for freshmen, struggling to adjust to college life, to look elsewhere if it were easier for them to transfer.

“It’s not easy your first year in college,” Smart said. “It’s one of the biggest adjustments you go through in life. So to be able to make it easy to leave, I think that’s tough. I think it’s a fine line. I want the players to be able to have the freedom and rights, but it’s tough. Put yourself in that situation when you come in there and you’ve been told how good you are your whole life and it’s difficult to make that transition.”

Makes you wonder how he feels about prohibiting all students from transferring after their freshman year.  Or coaches after one year on the job, for that matter…

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17 Comments

Filed under College Football

17 responses to “You can have my free agency, when you pry it from my cold dead fingers.

  1. Scott

    These recruits have always been told they are the best player on most every team they have played on and thus pampered for their talents. What I think Kirby knows here is that there is a moment when you have to have a big stick to motivate a freshman and the reality check that someone has to get in their face and tell them you are no longer the best on this team is a harsh realization. Some kids are going to resent that moment and not fight through it if they knew their was a back door out and another coach elsewhere promoting greener grass.

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  2. I think Kirby is correct and except for a true need to situation like sick family members and such it is better of the student to stick it out at least a couple of years.

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  3. Students make mistakes when they choose a college. A kid who is on a full ride academic scholarship can leave if they made a mistake and not have to sit out a year. Why that can’t be the case for student-athletes is beyond me.

    I’m not calling for a kid to be able to attend 4 colleges over a 4 year period, but one free transfer (assuming the student is meeting eligibility requirements and is on track for graduation with no school discipline issues) without loss of a year of eligibility is a reasonable solution.

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    • CB

      Here’s another thing I don’t get. Why would an athlete’s academic standing matter when it comes to transferring? Seems like undue burden to me. Any other student can transfer regardless of GPA or graduation track so why would athletes be any different? Wouldn’t it be a discriminatory practice to take grades into account especially given the backgrounds that many of these athletes come from? Yes, academics are important, but what if one of their issues is that classes are too hard at Vanderbilt so they need to transfer to Sackerlina to stay eligible? Or maybe they had one bad semester and want to change their major to something their current university doesn’t offer. There are any number of hypotheticals in which a penalty free transfer would benefit an athlete academically regardless of grades. Now if they can’t get in to another institution that’s on them, but I just don’t see the benefit to the athlete of the NCAA placing academic restriction on transfers.

      Same question for discipline. If a regular student can transfer with disciplinary issues then a student athlete should be able to as well. If a school is willing to take him then he’s their problem now.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I can agree with that … I just am not sure they should be eligible to participate immediately. I don’t think Tray Matthews should have been rewarded with immediate eligibility at Auburn for his role in Checkgate and the yelling at a professor episodes leading to his dismissal.

        Liked by 1 person

        • CB

          Did he deserve immediate eligibility? Perhaps not. But, should the NCAA have the power to take it from him when a regular student isn’t burdened with the same restriction? That’s the real question to be answered imo. I would submit that the latter is the greater of two evils. If Auburn wants to take him then let them deal with the consequences of having him on the team. In Matthews’ case I don’t believe they had any further issues, maybe that was the result of sitting out a year, or maybe being kicked off the team was punishment enough. There’s no way to know for sure.

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  4. ATL Dawg

    “…you’ve been told how good you are your whole life…”

    Says the coach who earns a big part of his millions telling high school kids how much he wants them.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. paul

    I was not a scholarship athlete. Heck I wasn’t even an athlete. But I still remember my first year in Athens as one of the best years of my life. Finally getting out of the house was one of the most enjoyable and easy life transitions I’ve ever made. I do not get all the talk about how hard it is to adjust to college. Football coaches aren’t the only ones who say this. I’ve worked for the university system in Georgia for twenty years, so I hear it a lot. But I don’t understand it. Going off to school couldn’t possibly have been more fun.

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    • Russ

      Yeah, I don’t remember many struggles adjusting, either. Of course, I don’t remember many details of those years anyway.

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    • CB

      If you weren’t an athlete (scholarship or no) then it would be difficult for you to relate the grind. I attended college both as an athlete and as a non athlete, and there is a lot less pressure when all you have to do is get to class, heck some classes you don’t even have to go most of the time.

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  6. Debby Balcer

    My youngest struggled with homesickness etc her first year. She wanted to come home several times but we told her she needed to tough it out and stay and she was glad she did. If it is an issue they can hirer a sports psychologist to help the students deal with the adjustments.

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  7. CB

    I don’t love the idea, but I wouldn’t be completely opposed to players having to sit a season if they transfer during or directly after their freshman year, but I say it’s free reign after that.

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  8. 69Dawg

    If a True “free agency” happens it will be the end of depth for the Power 5. We all know that there are kids buried on the dept charts at all the P5 schools that are good enough to start at the other Div I schools. The argument the Other 5 schools have been making that the P5 will cherry pick them for good players, pales but the thought that guys like Holyfield, who could be most anybody’s starter could be pursued by the Other 5 and by lowly members of the P5. This could move CFB closer to the NFL model except even the NFL has contracts and controls the free agency. CFB would become chaos at the end of every season.

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  9. Spur 21

    One problem I see. With a limited number of scholarships available each year a team could end up like UGA under Richt – playing with less than a full roster.
    I suspect most good coaches vet the players (find out which ones thrive with competition) offered and explain how the system works. Telling them if they buy-in and work hard they will play and that not everyone can be a starter. Work hard and your day will come.
    Bottom line – life ain’t fair – at some point you just accept the fact there may be others that are simply better. You can’t spend your life running to the next green pasture hoping you have an easy road.

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  10. A student of my Dad’s went from being an all ACC player to the pros. He and my Dad bonded and stayed friends after the players college days. He said, that he was always told at college how great he was, blah, blah. He went to the pros and stated, it was the shock of his life. Not only was it far more daunting than the jump from HS to college, but no one gave a damn if you made it or not. He did wind up playing pro for a large number of years. That jump is tough and when one expects to be the star, it can be a rude shock. As someone above noted-a lot of “daycare” is needed.

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