In recent years transfers have become a topic of conversation in college basketball, primarily due to the increased number of players who have received waivers that allow them to play immediately. But also of importance is the way in which players choose a new school, as many need their options to be cleared by the program they’re leaving.
This has caused issues, with the cases of Todd O’Brien (transferred from Saint Joseph’s to UAB), Jarrod Uthoff (Wisconsin to Iowa) and Sheldon Jeter (Vanderbilt to Polk State College) immediately coming to mind. There may be some change in this area, as the NCAA is discussing the possibility of giving players more power when it comes to determining their destination according to ESPN.com.
“It would be a situation where a kid would provide notice that he’s transferring and wants to talk to these five schools, for example,” Kevin Lennon, the NCAA vice president for academic and membership affairs, told ESPN.com. “Schools can’t say, we’re giving you permission but not to these five schools. It’s in the student’s control more.”
It’s likely that some will be against the proposed legislation, arguing that such a move could result in even more “chaos” (for those who choose to use words such as “epidemic” when discussing the current transfer rate) since the players would have a little more freedom when it comes to where they’ll transfer to. But athletic scholarships are one-year renewable, and while many will state during the recruiting process that they’ll honor all four (or five) years that doesn’t always happen.
It’s difficult to say that the proposed move would lead to even more players deciding to transfer, as that’s a decision that in most cases isn’t made overnight. But once that decision is made, why not make the process as simple as possible? Making it incredibly difficult isn’t guaranteed to dissuade others from transferring; if anything, doing so could adversely affect a program on the recruiting trail.
There are still hurdles to be cleared with the proposal, most notably the need to persuade NCAA members this spring. But in the end, making sure the transfer process goes smoothly can only benefit both the schools and the players.