With regard to all the back patting that the SEC did in the wake of passing its no transfer “Jonathan Taylor” rule, it’s worth considering what Dan Wolken wrote in response to the Sam Ukwuachu debacle unfolding at Baylor:
And yet, given what we know, it isn’t clear-cut that even the SEC’s new transfer rule would have prevented one of their schools from accepting Ukwuachu. Again, no police report, no formal university discipline.
Rules or no rules, in the end, it boils down to coaches, or the athletic directors those coaches allegedly answer to, having enough of a moral compass to look past the short-term goal of winning. Especially the latter, who often seem to lack the balls to deal with the pressure coming from successful coaches.
The problem, though, is that too many schools have yielded too much power over those decisions to coaches who risk nothing by taking the player (“Hey, if he screws up, we can just dismiss him”) and have very little incentive to say no.
As long as there’s an envelope to push, there’s always a head coach out there willing to take that chance.