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Proposal for transfer after coaching change

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Proposal to let athletes transfer instantly after a coaching change picks up steam

Athletes would be allowed to transfer schools without restriction if their coach were fired or left for another job as part of sweeping proposal that is making its way through Division I, CBS Sports has learned. However, athletes would not be permitted to follow the departing coach to their new program.

The proposal, which originated from the Big 12, would also allow athletes to transfer without sitting out a season (as currently mandated by NCAA rules) in the event a postseason ban is handed down by the NCAA as punishment to their program.

The traditional academic "year in residence" for transfers in all other situations would still be in place and extended to every sport. Presently, that is only a requirement in five NCAA sports.

The proposal authored by the faculty athletic representatives at Baylor and Iowa State has received early support. Skeptics note it is merely a proposal, not the proposal. Still, the document shared with CBS Sports seems to be the most detailed offering to date as a means of fixing the NCAA's long-criticized transfer policies.

"Basically, we're saying kids can go anywhere they want," Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard said. "For the first time ever in college athletics, the student-athlete is empowered."

Changing the NCAA's entrenched transfer rules has become one of the most significant undertakings in the association's history.

Coaches have long been able to "block" where a transfer goes. Athletes also have to seek release from their scholarships to immediately get aid at another school. Frequently, they have to get "permission" from the school/coach to move on to their desired school.

Those practices would end if the aforementioned proposal is adopted.

"I haven't heard one person against [doing away with] the notification," Ohio State AD Gene Smith said.

The NCAA board of directors has basically mandated Division I to change its transfer rules in the next year.

An ongoing Division I Transfer Working Group is expected to push forward one or two proposals for legislation by June. The question then would be the effective date -- in time for either the 2018 or 2019 football seasons. 

A source close to that situation stressed the preliminary nature of any proposals at the moment. The Big 12 proposal was finalized last month when conference officials met at the NCAA Convention in Indianapolis.

"Either try to accept [the process or] try to change it," Pollard said. "But quit bitching about it."

The Big 12 is in the process of distributing and talking up the proposal with other conferences. You can see the proposal here.

"I think it's a phenomenal idea," Pollard said. "There's holes in it. There will always be, but it's the best thing I've seen out there so far. It's a lot better than where we are heading."

Recent real-world examples show how sweeping such a rule change could be.

For example, players could have transferred from Florida State without restriction when Jimbo Fisher departed for Texas A&M in early December 2017 or when Rich Rodriguez was fired at Arizonaon Jan. 2. 

Those transferring players could not immediately follow the coach to their new school.

Rising seniors were allowed to transfer when the NCAA slapped Ole Miss with a second year of a postseason ban on Dec. 1, 2017. (The school had already self-imposed a one-year ban.) Under the proposal, any and all Ole Miss players could have departed for a new school without sitting out a year.

Currently, several transferring Ole Miss underclassmen are seeking waivers for immediate eligibility. There have been reports some of those players are basing their appeals on feeling they were misled by the school about the severity of the penalties.

Pollard admitted adjustments would have to be made in football recruiting limitations (25 scholarships per year) if a school lost transfers in any of the above scenarios.

Also, the subsequent impact on a departure to a school's Academic Progress Rate would have to be considered. Mass transfers could potentially put a program's postseason eligibility at risk.

Football and basketball coaches are currently concerned about possible "free agency," allowing athletes across the board to transfer without any restriction for any reason.

Men's basketball is arguably in crisis with a current transfer rate of 40 percent.

"It's a broken sport," a current Pac-12 AD told CBS Sports.

Anything still seems possible. The words "panic" and "wild, Wild West" we're tossed about by other AD types this weekend at the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) mid-winter meeting in Sanibel Island, Florida.

"I hear it's all over the board right now," Smith said.

The Big 12 proposal at least contains academic components that legitimize it.

Part of the proposal's credibility comes from its authors and their obvious research. Jeremy Counseller is a law professor at Baylor. Tim Day is an Iowa State professor of molecular pharmacology and member of the NCAA Council.

Part of the proposal calls for uniformity. In the traditional transfer setting, athletes are required to sit out a year in only five sports: baseball, hockey, football and men's and women's basketball. Under the proposal, transfers in all sports would be required to sit out a year in the event of a traditional transfer. That means volleyball, softball, wrestling athletes and others used to immediate transfers would now have to sit out.

"That's not why we're dealing with this issue," Pollard said. "We're dealing with it because of football and basketball. Can you name me one high-profile athlete that's been blocked in another sport? Now we're going to treat everybody equally. Empower the student-athlete but help them make a sound academic decision."

The possibility could suddenly exist that, in the same college career, a player could redshirt, transfer, sit out a year and transfer immediately. That player would not lose any of their four years of eligibility.

Yes, it could also create the possibility -- though not likely -- of a six- or seven-year player, the former of which we rarely see today usually due to injury.

"If you don't do that, people will just make the emotional decision that it's all about athletics," Pollard said. "This makes you actually stop and think about academics but doesn't stop you from making an athletic decision."

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I am behind this 100%.  I know many are going to say that these kids are supposed to pick the school not the coach, but that is just bs.  In every position on the field, a coaching change could take you from being a star to a nobody.  Doesn't matter if you are in the trenches or any other position; if a coach comes in and changes the scheme to not taking advantage of your skills, then you should have the right to find a place that will.  HOWEVER, I do believe that if you have a transfer of this nature, then you should be allowed to add a spot to your recruiting class.  A new coach should not be punished by not having his scholarship limit players just because he is changing the scheme.  In fact, they should get a little extra help to back fill that spot in the future.

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Wow... while I get the benefit to the players, this could literally decimate a program if a coach leaves. It could be the equivalent of the death penalty. 

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22 minutes ago, lionheartkc said:

Wow... while I get the benefit to the players, this could literally decimate a program if a coach leaves. It could be the equivalent of the death penalty. 

Possibly, but unlikely in my opinion. Numbers of kids who would leave are typically exaggerated. There were predictions that would happen to Ole Miss this year. It didn’t. A surprisingly large percentage of players like the school, have a girlfriend there, love their teammates, lover their playing time, are close to home, etc...Also, you could only transfer to schools with available scholarships. As a school you still have an 85 scholly limit. Do you want to fill up your spots with transfers, or incoming freshman. If school A took in 3 transfers, that’s 3 freshman school b will have room for. The annual coaching carousel causes tremendous turmoil and upheaval for the kids. I would be happy to see player driven turmoil for a change. 

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4 minutes ago, Gowebb11 said:

Possibly, but unlikely in my opinion. Numbers of kids who would leave are typically exaggerated. There were predictions that would happen to Ole Miss this year. It didn’t. A surprisingly large percentage of players like the school, have a girlfriend there, love their teammates, lover their playing time, are close to home, etc...Also, you could only transfer to schools with available scholarships. As a school you still have an 85 scholly limit. Do you want to fill up your spots with transfers, or incoming freshman. If school A took in 3 transfers, that’s 3 freshman school b will have room for. The annual coaching carousel causes tremendous turmoil and upheaval for the kids. I would be happy to see player driven turmoil for a change. 

The thing is, Ole Miss was limited to upperclassmen. The number of freshman and sophomore transfers is already rising, just imagine the potential underclassmen exodus if everyone was allowed to leave with no penalty. 

It could actually create a shift in recruiting as well. High school to college is a bit of a crap shoot, but when you've already seen how they transitioned to the college game, you know what you are getting.

Edited by lionheartkc
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Been saying this for weeks.  I really hope this goes through.  It will pay dividends for the players.  

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17 minutes ago, lionheartkc said:

The thing is, Ole Miss was limited to upperclassmen. The number of freshman and sophomore transfers is already rising, just imagine the potential underclassmen exodus if everyone was allowed to leave with no penalty. 

It could actually create a shift in recruiting as well. High school to college is a bit of a crap shoot, but when you've already seen how they transitioned to the college game, you know what you are getting.

I don't disagree with that scenario, but like I said most players are pretty happy where they are. A lot of transfers, possible. A mass exodus, very unlikely. One way or the other, college football is undergoing a very substantial transition the next few years. 

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1 minute ago, Gowebb11 said:

I don't disagree with that scenario, but like I said most players are pretty happy where they are. A lot of transfers, possible. A mass exodus, very unlikely. One way or the other, college football is undergoing a very substantial transition the next few years. 

More than we may know.  I still think it's going to implode under bloated coaching salaries.

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2 minutes ago, lionheartkc said:

More than we may know.  I still think it's going to implode under bloated coaching salaries.

That, and  corruption in general.

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Horrible idea. "Commit to a school, not a coach" has been the mantra since Shug was walking the AU sidelines. Anyone that doesn't do that is at risk from the get-go and the fault is on them. Transfer, sit out a year, think about your mistake and relate your experience to the younger kids in your circle of influence. Where does this stop? At the head coach? His position coach? The water boy? Again, horrible idea.

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23 minutes ago, Mikey said:

Horrible idea. "Commit to a school, not a coach" has been the mantra since Shug was walking the AU sidelines. Anyone that doesn't do that is at risk from the get-go and the fault is on them. Transfer, sit out a year, think about your mistake and relate your experience to the younger kids in your circle of influence. Where does this stop? At the head coach? His position coach? The water boy? Again, horrible idea.

My question to you though...  If a kid comes in as DT QB (ie: Nick Marshal).  You agree to this.  Your coach (HC, PC, waterboy, whomever) has designed this system just for players like you.  They all have 4-7 year contracts.  Then a couple of years later with 2 losing seasons, the coaches are fired and the new regime wants to run a completely pro style O.  You know that this new system does not fit your skill set.  This is not your fault the coaches got fired (I know some may argue that it is the players that lost the games, but...).  Bottom line is that a lot of these kids go to a school that fits their skill set.  That is what anyone would do that wants to progress to the next level.  If the coaches are fired or quit and move on and the new scheme is completely different, why shouldn't the kid be able to move on just as the coach did?  Again, my opinion is that if the kid transfers, then the new coaching staff should get another recruit of something so that they are not completely screwed.  I don't think there will be a lot that would do this.  A lot of kids will transition to the new system however they need to.  But there are times where the kid just is not suited for the scheme and that is to no fault of theirs if the coaches change.  Now if you have same set of coaches and kid wants to transfer, then fine.  Sit a year and think about why you went to school A to begin with.

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30 minutes ago, Mikey said:

Horrible idea. "Commit to a school, not a coach" has been the mantra since Shug was walking the AU sidelines. Anyone that doesn't do that is at risk from the get-go and the fault is on them. Transfer, sit out a year, think about your mistake and relate your experience to the younger kids in your circle of influence. Where does this stop? At the head coach? His position coach? The water boy? Again, horrible idea.

My understanding of the Big 12 Proposal in the above article is that a player would still have to sit out a year, unless there was a bowl ban. It is confusing the way it reads, but the Academic year in residence would still be in effect for non-probation situations. They can transfer immediately, but not play immediately. The biggest change is that coaches cannot direct where they transfer to. Maybe I’m reading it wrong. 

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44 minutes ago, Mikey said:

Horrible idea. "Commit to a school, not a coach" has been the mantra since Shug was walking the AU sidelines. Anyone that doesn't do that is at risk from the get-go and the fault is on them. Transfer, sit out a year, think about your mistake and relate your experience to the younger kids in your circle of influence. Where does this stop? At the head coach? His position coach? The water boy? Again, horrible idea.

Think of it this way: Players do better under specific types of coaches.  Some players respond to yelling and shoving and getting in your face.  Other players will shut down if you do that to them.  RG would fit into this category as a coach.  Others respond to a calmer presence while some may slack off with that coaching style.  A good example of this coach is Steele.

Now if a coach up and bails the day after a recruit commits, that recruit may be screwed because what if the next coach is the exact opposite of the first coach in their style.  You will have players that never reach their full potential and become “what if’s.”  

I do agree that you need to commit to the school, but I also understand the coaching aspect of it.  

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15 minutes ago, Gowebb11 said:

My understanding of the Big 12 Proposal in the above article is that a player would still have to sit out a year, unless there was a bowl ban. It is confusing the way it reads, but the Academic year in residence would still be in effect for non-probation situations. They can transfer immediately, but not play immediately. The biggest change is that coaches cannot direct where they transfer to. Maybe I’m reading it wrong. 

They way it reads to me is that they would be immediately eligible if the coach was fired from or left the original school. It's the second sentence in the draft portion. 

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42 minutes ago, gr82be said:

They way it reads to me is that they would be immediately eligible if the coach was fired from or left the original school. It's the second sentence in the draft portion. 

You are correct. I just clicked on the link to the original proposal. In the draft by laws, it specifies that the proposal allows an immediate transfer and immediate financial aid, and the athlete may practice. They are not, however, immediately eligible to play, unless the coach is fired from the school. 

Edited by Gowebb11

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Interesting debate for sure and not sure how I feel about it one way or another.  I can see the potential problem for a school whom loses their recruits, not being able to replenish those lost recruits before the next recruiting cycle as posted by someone above. I haven't thought about that perspective before that. 

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I didn't read the entire proposal.  If these were included, I apologize.  

Amendments that I would add are

1. The school transferred from would get an extra signee in the upcoming class for every transfer. 

2. The transfer would count as a signee in the upcoming class for the school being transferred to.  

3. Only one transfer per student athlete under this rule.  A second transfer would require them to sit out one year. 

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So this season we are going to have a dozen fired coaches in Power 5 schools and players for those schools should be allowed to transfer and play immediately?   The Ole Miss situation is not a good example in my view because the same coach was there ...no real coaching change. 

But. my gosh, if that rule were in effect..... you just know that coaches from the rest of the country would be camped outside the gates of Arkansas, Arizona, Texas A and M, etc, etc.....recruiting "transfers" to fit a particular need at their school. 

Even 3 win teams have some good players, and while players might not leave in mass, it would be pretty easy for some other schools to lure the cream of the crop away....the guys who see themselves as NFL potential with a better college career on their resume'  .....so Nick or Harbaugh or other top 15 coaches come in with the opportunity to play immediately or maybe to move up to a championship contender.  That would tear the guts out of most teams JMO....

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With the coaching carousel in college ball these days, this could be dangerous down the road.  Some P5 schools have had 3-4 different HC's in the last decade just in the SEC alone.... Tennessee/Florida/Arkansas/OleMiss.   How can a new HC & staff "build" something at a school when a portion of the foundation can transfer out with no penalty?  Like AU64 said above, it would tear the guts out of most teams.  

And can we imagine how that would impact recruiting?  The top programs would be like blood hounds on these kids, I can see more "processing" going on in order to make room for a top player from a program that just lost their coach. i.e.  Leonard Fournette would've been heavily pursued by a few eager championship contenders (Clemson/UAT/OSU/OK) after Les Miles was fired.  LF could have just bolted LSU "if" he chose to do so - Ed Orgeron gets shafted and Urban Meyer picks up a 5* experienced/NFL caliber RB to help him get to the CFP.:dunno:

Edited by keesler
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17 hours ago, Gowebb11 said:

My understanding of the Big 12 Proposal in the above article is that a player would still have to sit out a year, unless there was a bowl ban. It is confusing the way it reads, but the Academic year in residence would still be in effect for non-probation situations. They can transfer immediately, but not play immediately. The biggest change is that coaches cannot direct where they transfer to. Maybe I’m reading it wrong. 

A player can leave now like this. The whole reason this is pushed is so they don't have to sit a year.

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19 hours ago, Mikey said:

Horrible idea. "Commit to a school, not a coach" has been the mantra since Shug was walking the AU sidelines. Anyone that doesn't do that is at risk from the get-go and the fault is on them. Transfer, sit out a year, think about your mistake and relate your experience to the younger kids in your circle of influence. Where does this stop? At the head coach? His position coach? The water boy? Again, horrible idea.

I actually would have been worried and sent out the search party if you hadn't posted this. :Sing:

What we really need to do is just get rid of the players altogether. It's the only way our beloved coaches will ever be able to get college football fixed. 

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4 hours ago, weathergeakal said:

A player can leave now like this. The whole reason this is pushed is so they don't have to sit a year.

That, and players being able to transfer to any school.  

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On 1/30/2018 at 7:16 PM, around4ever said:

Only one transfer per student athlete under this rule.  A second transfer would require them to sit out one year. 

This would be a great compromise. 

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100% for this. If the player doesn’t we to be there, let them leave. Gives an opportunity to someone else. I don’t buy the “could decimate a program” thing. If the player wants to leave that badly he will regardless. 

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On ‎1‎/‎31‎/‎2018 at 12:43 PM, McLoofus said:

I actually would have been worried and sent out the search party if you hadn't posted this. :Sing:

What we really need to do is just get rid of the players altogether. It's the only way our beloved coaches will ever be able to get college football fixed. 

Either that or stop requiring kids to attend class so they could have more time to work on sports skills.  Especially in basketball where we could establish a special situation:    Kids could declare themselves as "one and done" and therefore would not be required to attend class ...but they would only be "eligible" for one season and would have to leave after a year. What percent of 5* HS grads would go for that option?  

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