So, the NCAA now permits one-time free transfers, and most conferences have followed suit in permitting players to freely transfer to schools within the conference. The SEC, though, is not one of those conferences, at least not yet. There’s a puzzling note about that from Rivals’ Mike Farrell.
… but I’ve also heard an odd rumor about the intraconference transfer rule for the SEC. Apparently a player who just left an SEC program was told by the school that if he wants to go to another SEC program he’s going to either have to sit out a year or it will cost that SEC team two scholarships to land him. This is a cryptic preview of what the SEC could decide, although I don’t buy the two- scholarship deal at all. And I highly doubt the one-year sit out rule because the SEC is never going to put themselves at a competitive disadvantage in anything football, and that would hurt them a bit.
Or will they? Another source told me that the SEC wants to set the bar for intraconference transfers and make it nearly impossible because the conference would essentially be a madhouse in the portal. By putting deterrents in place they avoid cannibalism of the conference as well as likely force the other conferences to eventually follow suit. After all, the word from the SEC will be that if you want to win national titles this is the conference you go to and we don’t need the intraconference mess to keep it that way.
Other than sheer arrogance, it’s hard to see how this makes sense. The note is in reference to former Tennessee star Henry To’oto’o, who, needless to say, is wanted by several other programs, both inside and outside the SEC. He’s certainly going somewhere other than Tennessee, which means there’s no deterrence factor in play, so what interest does is serve the SEC for To’oto’o to decide on, say, Ohio State?