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Potential Changes to Transfer Rules

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How drastic will changes be to NCAA transfer rules?

Change is coming to the NCAA's transfer rules, specifically in football and men's basketball - that much is clear. Exactly when and how drastic the changes will be is still to be determined.

One proposal from the NCAA Transfer Working Group, which met Sunday and Monday, would change the transfer system from its current model requiring athletes to seek permission from their current school to contact other schools with a notification model in which the athlete tells their current school of their intent to transfer and are entered into a database where other schools would be made aware.

"Such a system would provide more transparency for coaches and student-athletes and also provide sunshine on impermissible contact, since student-athletes and prospective coaches would not be allowed to communicate before the student-athlete notifies the current school," the proposal, 2017-108, states. "Among the most prevalent concerns is the interference and influence by individuals from other institutions on a student-athlete's desire to transfer. This type of unwanted interference is among the issues most often cited within Division I circles when the topic of transfer is discussed."

This proposal, which is slated to go before the NCAA Division I Council in June and go into effect on Aug. 1 but would now be delayed until Oct. 15, per ESPN, would also eliminate a school's ability to restrict where player can transfer.

Several players in this year's NFL Draft who transferred during their college careers felt changes needed to be made.

"It's crazy because a coach can leave and coach the next year," said former Wisconsin defensive back Nick Nelson, who transferred to Hawaii. "So why can't a player do it?"

Quarterback Riley Ferguson began his career at Tennessee, but went to Coffeyville C.C. before landing at Memphis. Ferguson said former Tennessee coach Butch Jones wouldn't sign his release and prevented him from going directly anywhere in the SEC or ACC.

"Most of the time kids are 18 years old - everybody makes mistakes, everybody chooses the wrong school sometimes. That happens," Ferguson said. "I think there's positives. There's pros and cons for letting people be able to transfer and not sit out. I feel like some guys would come in and see the hardships and just want to leave because it was hard and they weren't playing. For me that wasn't the case, I just didn't feel like home when I was there. I feel like guys would just want to up and leave quick if they can just go and play somewhere else right away."

This has been an issue for both Alabama and Auburn. Nick Saban attempted to block former Crimson Tide defensive back Maurice Smith's transfer to Georgia and Gus Malzahn prevented former Tigers defensive lineman Antwuan Jackson Jr. from transferring to Ohio State. Both players eventually ended up at those schools, though Smith required an SEC waiver as a graduate transfer and Jackson went to a junior college last season.

NCAA president Mark Emmert has called the ability for schools to restrict transfers an "inappropriate level of control" that has "never made sense" to him.

Speaking at the Final Four last month, Emmert expressed frustration with the NCAA's perpetual state of dialogue about transfers - 40 percent of men's basketball players transfer, per the NCAA - over the years with little progress.

"It's an interesting topic because it seems like one of the simplest of all," Emmert said. "How complicated could this be? It's about students changing schools. And yet I've never seen anything that's quite as intractable a problem as this one because you just can't get agreement.

"There's this constant tension between what's simply the ease for any one party, whether it's a coach or players or the school, or what's the right balance between the investments that everybody makes whether they're individuals or not."

Other ideas under consideration are permitting athletes with GPAs of at least 3.0 to transfer without having to sit out a year and allowing players to transfer after a coaching change.

Such a change would've helped former Western Kentucky quarterback Mike White, who began his career at USF.

"I committed to a school under the impression of we were running a pro-style offense, which that's what I do," White said. "So when we made the transition like a complete 180 turn to more of a read-option running quarterback style, that didn't fit my skill set. Under the current NCAA rules I had to transfer and sit out a rule.

"Luckily, I played as a true freshmen, a true sophomore, I had a redshirt year so it didn't really hurt my eligibility, but for guys that don't have that, they're losing a year because what their coach left? That's not under their control. Because they decided to change a system? That's not their fault."

Utah defensive lineman Kyle Fitts began his career elsewhere in the Pac-12, at UCLA. He also noted the double-standard for coaches and players and wants to see changes, provided there are some criteria.

"If you leave because of playing time I don't think that's a fair reason," Fitts said.

 

 

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This is a slippery slope.  I get what these kids mean by a mistake.  It does seem unfair that they can't transfer when a coach can.  I get that they are making a huge decision when they are under a ton of pressure at 18 yrs old.  But if they open this up, without some sort of compensation to the school, then this is going to get ugly.  I don't mean money but adding scholarship spot for that year or something.  If a new coach comes in and they are not going to use you to benefit your skill set then I get the choice.  But if 5-6 players all leave, then that program is going into the crapper in a hurry if they are not allowed to pick up some extra players.  

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12 minutes ago, LKEEL75 said:

This is a slippery slope.  I get what these kids mean by a mistake.  It does seem unfair that they can't transfer when a coach can.  I get that they are making a huge decision when they are under a ton of pressure at 18 yrs old.  But if they open this up, without some sort of compensation to the school, then this is going to get ugly.  I don't mean money but adding scholarship spot for that year or something.  If a new coach comes in and they are not going to use you to benefit your skill set then I get the choice.  But if 5-6 players all leave, then that program is going into the crapper in a hurry if they are not allowed to pick up some extra players.  

Schools are allowed to pick up players on the next recruiting cycle. There's nothing available immediately. What I would like to see is if players can transfer freely and play immediately then I think the yearly new enrollee cap should go back up to 28 as it was around 2010 w/ the caviate any above 25 have to be for immediately eligible transferred out players. If the player can't play immediately at the new school then the original school should not get a cap raise above 25 on that player.

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NCAA Transfer Working Group supports 2 transfer rule changes

The NCAA Transfer Working Group maintains "strong support" for proposals to stop schools from restricting where athletes can transfer and to allow athletes who sign National Letters of Intent to transfer and play immediately should their head coach leave, continues to discuss allowing all athletes to transfer and play immediately if they reach a benchmark grade-point average but membership is "deeply divided" on a proposal for graduate transfers in men's basketball.

Members of the NCAA Transfer Working Group, which met earlier this week, have been mulling various changes to transfer rules for the past year.

The proposal to prevent schools from restricting where athletes can transfer will be voted on by the NCAA Division I Council in June.

"We have strong support from the membership for allowing student-athletes to transfer and be recruited without losing their scholarships," Transfer Working Group chair and South Dakota State athletic director Justin Sell said in a statement. "We will ask the Division I Council to move forward with a vote on that proposal in June. This is meaningful change that will benefit student-athletes, schools and coaches."

How drastic will changes be to NCAA transfer rules?

Restricting transfers is common practice among Power 5 conference football and basketball programs, including Alabama and Auburn.

Typically, most coaches prevent athletes wishing to transfer from going elsewhere in the conference and to schools on the schedule for the next year or two, though there have been instances of much more extensive restrictions.

The discussion continues regarding allowing all athletes to transfer and play immediately if they have a benchmark GPA, which "has not yet been determined but would be between 3.0 and 3.5," according to the NCAA.

Another option was to eliminate the one-time transfer exception in sports that allow transfers to play immediately.

An NCAA release states it will refer to the Conference Commissioners Association (CCA), which governs the NLI, to permit athletes to transfer and play immediately should they sign an NLI and their head coach leaves, including even if the athlete enrolls in class and begins practicing but the coach leaves before the season.

"The working group believes all students who haven't begun the academic year or competitive season should have the ability to transfer and play immediately," according to an NCAA release.

The forthcoming report from the Commission on College Basketball, headed by Condoleezza Rice, is expected next week and will also impact the Transfer Working Group's views as it pertains to college basketball.

A proposal from the Atlantic 10 Conference calls for graduate transfers in men's basketball to count against a team's scholarship limit (13) for the duration of the graduate program they enroll in. Since graduate transfers largely only have one year of eligibility remaining, this potential change would create a new challenge for coaches and programs looking to fill out their rosters with veteran players.

The NCAA notes "opinion was deeply divided" on the proposal (2017-55), which would go into effect Aug. 1, 2019 if approved by the Division I Council.

 

 

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Seems fair for schools to not want a player to transfer in conference, or *at least* in division. On the other hand, complete autonomy for the schools to dictate the terms of transfer seems unnecessary. I'd be okay with them working something out there.

I like the idea of an academic requirement. 

As for the possibility of a mass migration of players, well, schools will just have to take that into account when considering making a change.

As for coaches getting poached, I wonder if they could impose a scholarship "buyout", where the school doing the poaching has to forfeit, say, 3 scholarships which are then awarded to the poach-ee? 

Glad I'm not in charge. 

 

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2 hours ago, McLoofus said:

Glad I'm not in charge. 

 

^^THIS^^  Just like any rule changes, you are going to get those who are for and others who are against.  The problem with this particular rule change is that it could so drastically effect a program.  Not a player.  Not a game.  But the whole program could change.

I have issues with coaches moving laterally within the division and actually even within the conference.  It is one thing if you get fired and take HC at a competing school.  I understand money and such, but seems like you take a lot of knowledge of the players and program to a direct competitor and that would give you a competitive edge on the field and even in recruiting.

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