The boys who cried wolf.

Oh, FFS.

Imagine a disgruntled five-star freshman dissatisfied with his dorm accommodations leaving after a season for a softer bed. Imagine two of the biggest dates on the college football calendar becoming the end of spring practice and end of fall camp. That’s when a potential glut of quarterbacks (or wide receivers or running backs or defensive backs) would hit the market after losing position battles.

Basically, imagine the transfer portal times 10.

It’s all on the table. It’s also a potential mess. The Big Ten originally proposed one-time transfer legislation last fall. On Monday, the ACC publicly supported the concept. Momentum seems to be pushing the issue toward adoption. The three remaining Power Five conferences (Big 12, SEC, Pac-12) were expected to discuss the proposal at their respective spring meetings.

“That’s going to happen, man,” a former member of the NCAA Council, who did not want to be identified, said. “I’ve been hearing murmurs. It seems unstoppable now.”

Imagine being so devoid of courage that you feel you have to offer a quote like that anonymously.  But I digress.

Fearmongering.  It’s what those in charge like to do every time a vested interest appears threatened.

Hell, P5 schools are making more money than ever.

Anyway, back to the one-time transfer rule.  Obviously, it’s a threat to coaches’ control over players, and, to be fair, Dodd is right to note there are related issues concerning things like APR and roster management for schools who face a sudden drain of their numbers that will have to be addressed.

That all being said, given the numbers generated by the transfer portal, the fears Dodd cites are likely overblown.  Per Max Olson ($$),

The transfer portal database for 2019-20 lists 170 scholarship players who have matriculated to their new schools. The actual number is greater than that — some compliance staffers haven’t logged all their new enrollees yet — but the 170-player sample is still useful for showing where players are ending up:

  • 43 players (25 percent) enrolled at Power 5 programs
  • 31 players (18 percent) enrolled at Group of 5 programs
  • 21 players (12 percent) enrolled at FBS schools as walk-ons
  • 75 players (44 percent) enrolled at FCS or Division II programs

Based on those initial numbers, you’re seeing one in four transfers fortunate enough to end up at Power 5 schools. More importantly: There are nearly the same number of players ending up on scholarship with FBS teams (74) as there are players going down to FCS or lower levels (75).

You know what’ll happen when the one-time transfer rule goes into effect?  There will be even more players out there looking for the same number of slots.  The reality is there are only so many primo spots out there in a given year and the one-time transfer isn’t gong to fundamentally alter that math.

Nobody likes being inconvenienced, true.  But inconvenience isn’t the end of the world.

53 Comments

Filed under Transfers Are For Coaches.

53 responses to “The boys who cried wolf.

  1. If there were a real market for college student-athletes, the school could agree to a guaranteed 5-year scholarship in exchange for restrictions on transfers. A player may decide to share in his NLI rights with the school in exchange for freer ability to transfer.

    College head coaches are overpaid PE teachers not Nobel laureate economists. Someone needs to explain to them greater freedom for the student-athlete may actually make roster management easier.

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    • BA Baracus

      “Someone needs to explain to them greater freedom for the student-athlete may actually make roster management easier.”

      Very true. Luckily for us, Kirby appears to have figured this out. Or at the very least has decided to make a nice batch of lemonade out of the whole process.

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  2. DawgPhan

    Open transfers make the game stronger. Teams get stronger, players get better accommodations and bad actors are more easily forced out. Opening up transfers saves the game from itself.

    Coaches are going to get better. They can’t simply force people to do what they want because they can hold a scholarship or transfer restrictions over the player. The good coaches are still going to get the best players, have the best development, and field the best teams. The bad coaches are going to get forced down or out. It’s a great thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Biggus Rickus

      And there’ll be a chicken in every pot! I agree with the policy change, but that’s some utopian bullshit. My guess is that it will consolidate talent at elite programs, which just continues an overall trend.

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      • Go Dawgs!

        I don’t think you’ll ever see a time where the top four or five programs have a talent deficit, but I think this rule is going to lead to a more even distribution of talented players at the top 20-30 programs. The main reason for a player transfer is going to be playing time. The bluest of the blue chips are ending up at the Alabamas and Georgias and Clemsons of the world right now. Well, when they get blocked by a better player, they’re going elsewhere. I think that this rule will make it harder for the major players to consolidate talent and hold it.

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        • Biggus Rickus

          Most players aren’t going to transfer. However, based on what’s been happening, the players blocked by others will be the guys who aren’t as good as their star ratings (with the exception of QBs). The Alabamas and Georgias will get players who fill holes and have already established themselves elsewhere as capable players. Basically, it’ll reward “The Process”, because roster management is the key part of the whole thing.

          I think you’re right that it will also benefit elite programs with less than stellar recruiters and second tier programs. I don’t think that’s particularly good for college football, as the have-nots will be that much less talented trying to compete against the teams pilfering some of their best players.

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    • Some of the best coaches I even had I wanted to punch in the face about 5 times per season – but they made me better and tougher. I definitely would have transferred at least once when he called me a Pu$$y for not playing through 3 cracked ribs. But that’s not always what is best for the athlete. He was an asshole, and he was the best coach I ever played for.

      Another consideration – Everyone complains about the kids and having to baby them through recruiting – why in gods name do we want to celebrate extending that into their tenure??

      “I don;t know, I just wasn’t feeling the love from the coaches as much as when I signed so i’m jumping on the Gus Bus, they’ve been liking my tik tok videos”

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  3. Geezus

    Honestly, the (potentially) new transfer rules actually line up quite nicely with players controlling their own NIL (in my opinion).

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  4. Biggus Rickus

    On the last point, going to a lower level means not sitting a year. Some percentage of those players would end up in I-A with a one-time transfer rule in place, including P5 in some small number of cases.

    That said, I think players should be able to transfer whenever and wherever they want, and that scholarships should be year-to-year. This is an okay compromise, though.

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  5. Mick Jagger

    I guess “Win one for the Gipper/Alma Mater” is out dated now……..

    How about taking one for the team? LOL

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  6. Bright Idea

    Maybe I missed it but will the potential for a sit-out waiver still exist for a second transfer? If players get one freebie shouldn’t they be totally locked out of a second one? A second freebie, not a second transfer. Just asking because it will happen.

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  7. truck

    Just like when Roquan didn’t sign his NLI, it was gonna be the end of the world as we knew it.

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  8. Go Dawgs!

    I’m going to go ahead and say that there will never, ever be a football player who transfers schools just because he doesn’t like the softness of his dorm bed. That’s ridiculous.

    But if that’s the best Dennis or his anonymous NCAA source can do in terms of scaremongering me about expanded transfer rights, then bring it on. I don’t see the issue. Quarterback transfers have always been a thing, whether they were easy or not. Remember the mass exodus of Jon England, Cobb, et al who fled Athens after Quincy Carter won the starting job way back in 1998 when I was but an impressionable young UGA freshman? Maybe this opens the door for that to happen more often at more positions, but if your coaches can’t manage that situation, I’d say that’s on them. Besides, these kids aren’t stupid. If they’re only getting one bite at the apple of the penalty-free transfer, I don’t think they’re going to risk taking it on a bad situation. I don’t know that non-quarterback transfers are going to explode as much as some people might tell you.

    And if we’re worried about kids leaving at the end of spring practices or the end of fall camp, how hard would it really be to make a rule governing when transfers can take place? This isn’t as hard as you’re trying to make it, NCAA.

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    • Just Chuck (The Other One)

      “Besides, these kids aren’t stupid. If they’re only getting one bite at the apple of the penalty-free transfer, I don’t think they’re going to risk taking it on a bad situation.”

      If they made a bad decision about where to play coming out of high school, they’ll make a better decision when they transfer?

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    • Huntindawg

      “And if we’re worried about kids leaving at the end of spring practices or the end of fall camp, how hard would it really be to make a rule governing when transfers can take place?”

      Exactly what I was thinking. Clearly there must be SOME restriction on transfers. I don’t think you can have the best players from UGA going to Ohio State to help them win the national championship after we lose in the SEC Championship or the first round of the playoff.

      I also love the idea of a 5 year non-revocable scholarship in exchange for an agreement not to transfer. So if the player ends up being terrible, hurt, or Charles Manson (well, maybe there is a limited morals clause), the player has 5 years to get a scholarship, but no transfers ever. Maybe that will become standard.

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    • Tony Barnfart

      The season in competitive absentia IS the condition in place to prevent rash decisions. (how bad, really, is my situation here ? how much greener is another opportunity ?). One bite at the apple when you only have 4 years anyway is hardly a deterrent. I don’t know why the restriction is viewed as so draconian, but the narrative is that kids have no way to escape a bad situation. That is simply untrue. As I understand the current rules (which have been relaxed as to destinations, even in conference), there is nothing stopping a kid from leaving a bad situation. Is having to weigh the gravity of how bad your current situation truly is vs. not playing in games for 1 year so draconian, particularly if the kid is not going to lose any eligibility in doing so ? Are there any levels of systemic control to which these organizations should be entitled ?

      Why not just tweak the rule that, regardless of whether you have burned your redshirt or not, you don’t lose a year of eligibility in absentia ? How is that not the best compromise ?

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      • As I understand the current rules (which have been relaxed as to destinations, even in conference), there is nothing stopping a kid from leaving a bad situation. Is having to weigh the gravity of how bad your current situation truly is vs. not playing in games for 1 year so draconian, particularly if the kid is not going to lose any eligibility in doing so ?

        Maybe you should ask Luke Ford what he thinks.

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        • Tony Barnfart

          Just because Luke Ford should have received a waiver under the rule means the whole rule should be scrapped ?

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          • Players getting a one-time transfer isn’t scrapping the whole rule.

            What is so important about making these kids sit?

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            • Tony Barnfart

              Because I think it’s a reasonable restriction and the most appropriate restriction to deter what I would call third-party bad actors (roster poaching) that, if left unrestricted, could open the door to systemic risk in a team’s ability to predictably manage an 85 man roster.

              Let’s say that NIL restrictions are abolished, are you OK with an Auburn booster getting in a bidding war with a Georgia booster over our starting left tackle ? Because there is no professional league that has such unfettered contractual arrangements amongst player / school / league.

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              • “Because I think it’s a reasonable restriction” is nothing but restating your position. It’s not an explanation.

                If you’re worried about poaching, punish the poachers, not the kids.

                As for as your hypothetical goes, I have yet to see anyone suggest boosters will be allowed to go unrestricted. But for the sake of argument, if that were to happen, what bothers you most — that the kid gets paid or that you lose a player from your team? If it’s the latter, so much for it’s what’s on the front of the jersey that matters…

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  9. JCDawg83

    If the NCAA is going to let players transfer without sitting out they should also make scholarships for one year and allow the coach to “cut” players who aren’t performing up to the level they were expected to and make room for more recruits to sign. Keep the 85 scholarship cap but let coaches sign as many as they want in a given year and be able to cut enough of the non productive players to meet the cap.

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    • Go Dawgs!

      I don’t really agree that the millionaires who run the sport and coach the teams need to exact some sort of measure of revenge against the unpaid labor in exchange for a one-time transfer. The majority of scholarship athletes are not going to even consider transferring, much less actually do so. They should be placed in peril of losing a scholarship for dropping a pass just because some other kids might change schools one time?

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      • JCDawg83

        I don’t really see it as revenge. I see it more as a measure of equality in the whole “loyalty” thing. The amount the coaches make is immaterial and I don’t view the players as “unpaid labor” but that is a discussion for another time. If the players can get their lip poked out because they don’t think they are getting enough playing time or don’t like something in the program and walk away without any consequence, I think it is fair that the coach can decide he made a poor decision in recruiting a player who hasn’t lived up to what the coach expected and get rid of him.

        Right now, everyone wants to have their cake and eat it too. The coaches want to lock down players and the players want unrestricted free agency. Neither of these things should be the ultimate resolution. The coaches should not hold all the power and neither should the players. I think both sides need to have some power and both sides should have some risk. I agree that the majority won’t want to transfer and I also think there would be very few players cut by coaches. The coach would have to protect his reputation among future recruits and being known as a coach who would cut a player for a dropped pass would make it tough for him to convince recruits to come play for him.

        Liked by 2 people

        • This makes too much sense. They’ll never do it.

          Liked by 1 person

        • The coaches want to lock down players and the players want unrestricted free agency. Neither of these things should be the ultimate resolution.

          Maybe I’m missing something, but the NCAA proposal isn’t unrestricted free agency. It’s a one-time option.

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        • Go Dawgs!

          I guess I’m fully OK with someone having their cake and eating it, too, if that person is putting their body and their brain health on the line for my entertainment in exchange only for a scholarship.

          You suggest that a shift must take place on the part of the players to maintain “balance” in the equation if they get the right to transfer one solitary time. I say the balance of “equality” and “loyalty” has been shifting for decades. Amateur athletes were once led by coaches who made a very good living in the employ of athletic departments that were units of their universities. Not such a terrible imbalance. Now, amateur athletes are being led by coaches who at even the low levels of the sport are making generation-changing money on an annual basis. On our level? They are barons, in the employ of athletic departments which are almost fully separate enterprises generating millions upon millions of dollars for their own enrichment every year in exchange for providing content for numerous coporate media conglomerates who dictate to the schools when they will play, how often they will play, and how far the student athletes will have to travel in order to play. The players are not welcome to share in the wealth that is generated by their effort and their risk. The overseers are only just now coming around to the idea of letting athletes at least to profit in some measure for their fame, but that is not yet allowed because the overseers have yet to come up with the manner in which they will be able to maintain full control of such an enterprise because in all things, they must control the amateur athletes.

          Getting to transfer one time without sitting out a year doesn’t seem like such a huge thing to give to the student athlete, does it?

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    • Nick Saban approves of this message.

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    • spur21

      Scholarships are already good for only a year – it is a renewable contract.

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  10. PTC DAWG

    Why not an option to transfer at 8 weeks into the season? Sort of like the trade deadlines in the pros….MLB seems to do it the best. Need help at a certain position? Your team not playing up to snuff…make a trade…transfer out to a better situation. You get the drift?

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  11. Make Sports Great Again! Build A WALL around schools so student athletes can’t leave!

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  12. Otto

    But inconvenience isn’t the end of the world.. Agreed have them sit 1 yr.

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  13. BuffaloSpringfield

    One point of emphasis that is not noted in the aforementioned is the APR graduation rate where schools can actually be sanctioned out of playoffs, practice hours cut in lieu of academic time, coaches at practices can be limited at which on the rolling scale UGA comes in next to LSU for last in the SEC. This would conclude years 2014-2018 scores now UGA would be in 2016-2020 scale.
    It’s not a complicated scale but significantly rates on team players and a score of +2 for each. Academically eligible and competitive each player +2 pts. Academically ineligible on team +1 Academically eligible transfers +1
    X1000 and for infraction to occur overall team must maintain a .930 average.
    So the transfer portal is actually a academic problem if you get roster raped by other schools.

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  14. Jack Klompus

    I think people underestimate:
    1. The bonds that are formed between these players and coaches
    2. The bulk of them are not as greedy or selfish as everyone wants to make them out to be

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Ozam

    This much I can guarantee. Whatever the new rule, there will be unintended and unforseen consequences. (which may be good or bad)

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Not that anyone here seems to be concerned with the coaches, and I get why, but I wonder how many coaches bail on the college game because they feel like they have to recruit new players and the current players year round? There would always be coaches looking to move up from high school or smaller colleges, but overall the quality and experience landscape of coaches could fall. That’s not an argument for or against the rule change, but just an observation of an unintended consequence.

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  17. spur21

    This ain’t hard folks. Set up a specific time period (January ?) where students can enter the portal. Allow schools that lose a player an extra roster spot over the current limits – if ten jump you get ten extra scholarships in the next class. This would go a long way towards solving this perceived roster management problem.

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  18. The comments within this blog often trend towards skepticism that CKS does not have his finger on the pulse of what is, or is not, working within the program and moving to correct those issues. Maybe as Dawg fans we’re conditioned (jaded) to expect that from the previous staffs, but as SB always says “but I digress”. In terms of recruiting for this recent class and going forward I believe CKS’s comments about character and (re)evaluation w/in the most recent HS season will become a benchmark/template born out of the experience with Cox (and the issues that prompted UGA to back off Zachary). That being said, to the topic at hand I, for one, have seen a pattern from CKS that believes that UGA will be proactive in staff evaluations and communication regarding the potential that X-player is not happy with current playing situations and might be considering a move. Being proactive (not to say you might get totally blindsided like someone who just jumped to UT) as the staff exhibited in the Fromm to Newman transition shows signs that this staff is constantly monitoring and preparing for “what if” scenarios (not to mention Cager & Wolf examples). I have confidence that CKS is further along in this new world of transfers/portals than given credit and would not be surprised if it ever was revealed that there are specific staff designations to monitor/coordinate this issue.
    Some day (Soon) we, as Dawg fans, are going to awaken to a new day when we look forward with optimism and the reality that Georgia is not merely a “good” program wanting to appear as a “great” program but rather is truly a great program. You can only judge a man by his actions and not just his words and evidence suggests that CKS is a quick study and doesn’t let time get by w/out adjustments/decisions being made.
    Time to drop the Munson skepticism, Like Peter Gabriel sang “I kicked the habit. Shed my skin. This is the new stuff!”
    GATA

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  19. Personally I don’t like the way it is and I don’t like guaranteed. I view this as much the same way as I view kids leaving after three years. In the beginning only the best of the best were leaving and most all had at least a decent NFL career. Now a high percentage aren’t even in the NFL by year three and most all of those could have benefited by coming back and finishing school. The 1 time transfer will be the same. It will end up good for only a very few and bad for most.
    I’d prefer a hard but generous rule for medical/family hardship dealing with legal guardian, Grandparents, Parents, siblings., otherwise sit out a year.

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  20. TN Dawg

    I’m not sure what argument that applies to allowing a free transfer one time wouldn’t apply to a free transfer 2, 3 or 10 times.

    If it’s a moral decision of fairness to give the players dominion over their own personage, why restrict it to one? After your free transfer, don’t the same arguments still apply?

    And if you want to restrict it to one, arbitrarily, why not restrict it to none?

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    • Welcome to today’s episode of the perfect is the enemy of the good.

      I don’t think you really suffer from a moral dilemma here, but to make things easier for you, if your morality says the players should have control over their fate, isn’t one free transfer better than none?

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