With the spike in the number of transfers in college basketball in recent years, many coaches and administrators openly asked if it were time to make some changes. With waivers granting players immediate eligibility at their new schools and graduate students having the ability to complete their career at a new school, many likened the current climate to that of free agency at the professional level.
As a result they called on the NCAA to make changes that would trim the number of transfers, or at the very least require all athletes to sit out a season regardless of the circumstances surrounding their move.
But on Thursday at the NCAA’s Leadership Council meetings in San Diego the decision was made to not make any changes to the current transfer rules for the time being. The council will instead continue to evaluate the proposal that would remove the possibility of receiving an immediate eligibility waiver according to Nicole Auerbach of USA Today.
“We felt we had all the information and were in a good position, but certainly there are a lot of things going on with Division I issues right now, so it’s not surprising at all with something so high-profile that more of the membership would want more time to take a look at it,” [America East commissioner Amy] Huchthausen said. “On the one hand, the number of student-athletes requesting waivers is not overly significant. … But it’s still a big issue, and it’s started to impact the culture of men’s basketball, and that is significant.”
If the proposal were to become law, players who have a season of eligibility remaining after completing four years of college would have their eligibility “clock” extended by a year. Under the current rules athletes get five years to complete four season of eligibility, allowing for a redshirt (regular or medical) or sitting out a season after transferring.
Under that proposal, a transfer looking to complete his/her final season at another school would have another year added to their “clock” to account for the need to sit out a season.
Words such as “epidemic” have been tossed around by some when it comes to describing the current transfer climate, but while the numbers have increased that description may be a bit extreme. And as Oregon head coach Dana Altman noted in the linked story, coaches aren’t forced to sit out a year after they move from one school to another. However those situation are different, with coaches (in most instances) having buyouts to take care of when making a move.
There’s a lot on the NCAA’s table these days in regards to legislation, with some of the schools who bring in higher amounts of money voicing their desire for change and athletic directors wanting more say in the governing of collegiate athletics as well. With this being the case, how high on the list of issues is the current transfer process? That could determine when (or if) any possible changes occur.