They’re back, baby.

I don’t know if his bosses were feeling the heat, acting in their self-interests or just decided it was the right thing to do, but Greg Sankey bowed to common sense and waived a rule.

The SEC altered its rules to allow immediate eligibility for intraconference transfers in light of the coronavirus pandemic by approving waivers for some players who transferred within the league, the conference announced on Wednesday.

Previously, the SEC had mandated that players transferring within the league had to sit out a year before they were eligible. Before Wednesday’s change, the previous time the SEC adjusted the intraconference transfer rule was in 2018, when it created two exceptions — one for graduate transfers and one for players on teams facing NCAA postseason bans.

“It must be stated unequivocally that these approvals are solely a reflection of the unique circumstances present and should not be interpreted as endorsement of the rationale set forth by individuals seeking these waivers,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement. “These are unprecedented times in which decisions about eligibility and competitive opportunities demand consideration of the current challenges facing student-athletes and schools as a result of COVID-19. In a non-COVID environment there may have been a different outcome for some of the waiver requests determined today.”

That, of course means freedom to play for Cade Mays and Joey Greenwood Gatewood.  One other high-profile transfer remains in limbo, although that’s not the SEC’s fault.

The SEC’s decision does not affect Ole Miss safety Otis Reese, who played at Georgia last season, because he hasn’t received a waiver from the NCAA, sources told ESPN.

I wonder if Reese regrets his public outburst now.

It sounds like this is a precursor to a more long-term move by the conference.

“Our member institutions have been clear in the past that they oppose immediate eligibility for intraconference transfers,” Sankey said in the statement. “Given the increased number of waiver requests this year, and a changing national landscape related to student-athlete transfer issues, it is evident that the current transfer bylaw must undergo a thorough review by Conference membership in the most timely manner possible and prior to the 2012-22 academic year.”

Bet there are a few coaches who aren’t happy about that.

14 Comments

Filed under SEC Football, Transfers Are For Coaches.

14 responses to “They’re back, baby.

  1. Greenwood Gatewood

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  2. sniffer

    Why is it so hard for them to just say, “it’s the right thing to do”? And what is so unprecedented about Covid that transfer rules should be suspended? The three transfers mentioned left for playing time, not because their programs shut down for the year.

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  3. Teacher Martin

    Terrible precedent. Players should have to sit out a year.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The portal has been renamed the turnstile.

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    • Teacher Martin

      Even High schools have rules about transferring. You would think colleges where the stakes are higher would do the same. This is going to destroy CFB.

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      • I don’t think it’ll be that bad but I do expect a revolving door, especially now that people have more of a tendency to bail when things get tough. Coaching staffs will need more analysts. I’m sure Saban has already secured a half mill for feelings analysts.

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  5. godawgs1701

    I am a believer in the one time free transfer proposal that’s out there, so this is fine. But since we aren’t operating in that environment, someone is really going to have to explain to me what COVID-19 has to do with any of this. It’s just a convenient fig leaf that they know nobody is going to question. Either we’re allowing transfers or we aren’t – COVID-19 doesn’t have a thing to do with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Tony BarnFart

    An open transfer market will really hurt Group of 5 programs. Not saying it’s not the right thing to do (i.e. keep a player down from perceived advancement opportunity), but it will happen. Alabama will have their pick of anybody remotely good at UAB, Troy or South Alabama.

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