“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’
’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’
’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.”
When it comes to the debate about changing the NCAA’s graduate transfer rule, Humpty … er, Larry Scott wants us to know it’s all about the children:
“There’s so much focus on professionalism and question about whether student-athletes are being exploited; in some cases it feels like it really is only about the athletics (with regard to transfers),” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said. “That’s concerning to some of our (administrators).
“If you come at it from the point of view of, ‘Why should you care?’ and your view is student-athletes don’t care about academics, you won’t be persuaded by this, but there’s a lot of data that shows transfer student-athletes don’t do as well. It doesn’t relate to positive outcomes from an academic standpoint. If you don’t care, I won’t persuade you that it matters but people who make decisions on our campus care.”
Only in the world of collegiate athletics can someone claim with a straight face that a kid who graduates is being exploited by graduating.
And then there’s Bob Bowlsby, who doesn’t have this whole “mastering” thing under his belt quite yet.
“It sort of smacks of ‘hired gun,’” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said. “You wonder about kids leaving their teammates and going to a better offer. For me, I look at it from a player standpoint, and I think of the kid at Eastern Washington (quarterback Vernon Adams) who transferred to Oregon. What message does that send to his teammates that have been sweating and bleeding with him for three years? He gets a better offer and jumps ship. I’m not sure that’s a great message to send to a group of teammates.”
What message does it send when a coach leaves players who have been sweating and bleeding for him for three years?
“That’s true,” Bowlsby acknowledged. “There’s not any doubt about that. I don’t have a lot of experience (with the graduate transfer rule), so I’m going to have to listen.”
Oops. Good plan, Bob.
It’s hilarious to hear the people who have the least amount invested in the academics side and the most on the athletics side – conference commissioners and coaches – struggle to spin the graduate transfer rule as problematic for student-athletes academically.
Like this, from the concerned Mr. Scott, who tries to explain why it’s now suddenly important to be concerned about whether kids who graduate from college and transfer are progressing towards that postgraduate degree:
… What about players who graduate and stay at their school with immediate eligibility left? Are we to believe they all seriously pursue a graduate degree instead of simply taking enough classes to play until their eligibility expires? Should those players sit if they stay at their school but are not truly progressing toward a graduate degree? Why is it academically OK for those graduates to continue playing but not transfers?
“Um, I don’t have a good answer for you, because I don’t know that we’re tracking that,” the Pac-12’s Scott said.
Yes, this is such a big deal that the schools haven’t even made the effort to figure out how big a deal it is. That sounds like a real crisis.