One of the most controversial topics in college basketball these days is the “free agency” of the transfer market.
Depending on who you ask, this is one of the biggest issues plaguing the game. Players leave school before they even have a chance to unpack. Immediate eligibility waivers — whether they are do to hardships or graduate transfers — are what is spurring the process on. To a point, that’s correct. You’re foolish if you transfer and don’t apply for some kind of waiver. Some have gone as far as to call it an epidemic.
We have an issue with any kind of hinderance on the movement of an amateur athlete. These kids are students first, right? Isn’t that what the NCAA tells us? They’re amateurs, so they can’t get a cut of the billions upon billions of dollars that are generated annually by college athletics? So if they’re students, why is there any restriction on their ability to move around to different campuses? Have you ever heard about the transfer epidemic for veterinarian students?
Well, there appears to be a movement in process to try to get some of those transfer waivers eliminated, according to John Infante of the ByLaw Blog. A year ago, the push was to try and get punishment for transferring eliminated. But the opposite was true at October’s NCAA Division I Leadership Council meeting:
At that October meeting, the Leadership Council directed the subcommittee to focus on two concepts:
- To require all student-athletes in FBS football, basketball, baseball, and men’s ice hockey to sit out for one year following a transfer, eliminating the opportunity to earn immediately eligibility through the waiver process.
- To require graduate transfers in FBS football, basketball, baseball, and men’s ice hockey to sit out for one year following a transfer, potentially eliminating both the graduate transfer waiver and graduate transfer exception.
There’s no guarantee that any of this ends up being an NCAA rule. Remember, it was only ten months earlier that the opposite was discussed.
But it is interesting to note which direction we are trending here.