“The kid’s making a mistake on several levels.”

Speaking of watching a master at work, here’s John Feinstein doing a wonderful job with this “sure, in a perfect world, a one-time transfer waiver for college athletes would be fair, but coaches” take.

Just as good as Feinstein is the “doing it for the kids” rationale from the usual suspects.

“I would be 100 percent for the rule if I was selfish and greedy,” Tennessee men’s basketball coach Rick Barnes said Saturday. “It won’t change the number of kids I lose to transfer, but it will change how many kids transfer from mid-majors because power schools will poach their players nonstop. It already goes on because of graduate transfers and all the waivers that are allowed, but if you make every single transfer easy, it will happen all the time.”

Michigan State’s Tom Izzo took his objection a step further. “On the surface, it sounds like this is what’s best for the kids, but it’s really not,” he said. “If I lose a good player, sure, it might hurt me for a little while, but long term, I’ll be fine. The power school coaches in football and basketball will be fine. They’ll go out and recruit someone else.

“But what happens to the kid? What happens when he finds out the grass isn’t greener somewhere else? What happens when it turns out all those people telling him he was going to be an NBA player are wrong, and he wakes up one morning without a college degree and no idea what he’s going to do with his life next? I’m not saying there aren’t kids who should transfer; I’m saying they should think about it before they make that leap.”

Clearly, this is a decision that shouldn’t be rushed into, but only arrived at after a lot more soul searching by coaches.  Maybe all the job hopping they do is simply research into whether that grass really is greener.

They’ll get back to you, kids.  It’s for your own good.



Filed under Transfers Are For Coaches.

13 responses to ““The kid’s making a mistake on several levels.”

  1. 3rdandGrantham

    “But what happens to the kid? What happens when he finds out the grass isn’t greener somewhere else?”

    My retort: what happens if/when he does find greener pasture elsewhere? Shouldn’t we at least give him the latitude or overall freedom to find out for himself? After all, there are a slew of examples of athletes deciding to change environments which have worked out quite well for them. Perhaps in Izzo’s perfect world, Burrow would have stayed at OSU, Jarvis Jones would have stayed at USC, and so on.


  2. DawgByte

    Blutarsky, uhhhh in case you missed it… coaches get fired too. So you’re cloying narrative that kids are unduly harmed, because coaches constantly leave schools for more $$$ doesn’t align with reality.

    I’m sure we can find you a safe zone to hang out when times get tough.


    • Charlie Weis has been fired twice. No doubt it’s been a terrible financial hardship on him.

      What I love about your logic is you’re the type to scream about people who equate college sports with plantation life, all the while maintaining that kids don’t deserve the same amount of freedom as coaches.


  3. Go Dawgs!

    Uh, Coach Izzo, explain to me why transferring to another college means that the athlete is going to end up one day without a college degree. I think you’re talking about the dire consequences of making a mistake of entering the NBA Draft prematurely and not simply transferring to another degree-granting university. But, hey, whatever you have to do to scare people into keeping your job as easy as possible.


  4. junkyardawg41

    I know there is always a lot of skepticism when coaches oppose relaxing transfer restrictions. I also believe coaches (like a lot of us) do things for the betterment of ourselves. I also think that coaches can actually believe, honestly, that relaxing the transfer rule can also be a bad thing for the kids. It isn’t a binary issue and shouldn’t be treated as such.
    I will say the hand wringing over the poaching of kids is ridiculous. How many football players enter the portal and how many actually get picked up by another school (I think the number is 25% right now). Sure, the percentage may go up with immediate eligibility, though I think roster management issues are widely overblown.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bossdawg22

    Long time reader, first time commenter. Senator, I just want to take a moment to express a bit of appreciation for what you do here. This is far and above my favorite blog to visit.

    Concerning the topic, I feel there is still a tremendous amount of work to be done in order to reach an agreement that is satisfactory to all parties involved. I do believe the athletes should be compensated for the value they bring to their respective programs. However, the devil is in the details. Let’s not just sweep aside the fact that many of these young men are already being afforded free access to an incredible education on top of world class nutrition, post-education networking, and the opportunity to make millions if they hear their names called in April. That being said, I strongly believe that with the millions in financial gain being brought in (directly attributed to these young men) for the various universities, players should have access to a percentage of that in some way. To me, the easiest way is to allow players to be compensated for jersey sales, autographs, meet & greets, and the licensed use of likeness such as video games. The devil in all of this, however, is at what percentage? Because in no way should, say the backup long snapper, be deemed as valuable (monetarily) as the starting quarterback. I think that is the side of caution that administrators are realistically trying to hash out before opening pandora’s box.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s funny how the “do it for the kids” crowd is always way more concerned about the kids that want to transfer (many times against their own best interest) than they are the kids that are left.


    • Yeah, that totally explains my stance on player compensation.

      By the way, when kids transfer against their own best interests, that’s usually referred to as being forced out by the coach.


      • First this was only about transferring not compensation so that in no way explains the issue I brought up.
        Secondly, except for disciplinary issues when have you ever seen a kid that is a significant contributor to to team get forced out by the coach?


        • Oh, so we’re only heartless bastards in a limited way. 😉

          Now you’re qualifying by saying a kid has to be a “significant contributor”. I don’t know the answer, mainly because you don’t hear coaches admit to that. But let me ask you something in response — how often do we hear someone’s ex-teammates complain about a kid transferring out? You’d think if we’re supposed to be concerned, they would be even more so.


  7. I wouldn’t call you heartless. 🙂

    I mostly only follow Georgia closely so it is difficult to comment on other programs much. Most major programs do not just let the players speak without restrictions (for obvious reasons). I would guess even the ones that do speak would be in a awkward position to comment on that type issue for several different reasons. So while I can’t say about others for UGA there were several not happy and several were when Fields left. One group thought he could have stayed and taken the starting job this last year and some thought after Fromm left early he would still have 2 years to play. Others were glad he left because his attitude and demeanor led to their being a Fromm camp and a Field’s camp which was not the best for the team.

    So I would say to your, “if we’re supposed to be concerned, they would be even more so.” comment that most probably are. Just today we have FL player Issiah Walker Jr. jumping in the transfer portal and he has never even been to a practice. I have no problem with a one time transfer after their Sophomore season. But to have kids transfer that soon, some of which have not even been on campus yet makes no sense. Unless the coaching staff got fired after the kid signed his LOI then the due diligence is on the recruiting side Before you commit. Otherwise the team and coaches will never know if they are working with a team member or a competitor.