Tag: Waivers

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Could we be seeing a change in how transfer waivers are enforced?

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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.


Like me?

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.

Angel Rodriguez will not play for Miami in 2013-2014

Wildcats guard Rodriguez defended by Explorers guard Galloway tries a last-second shot that failed to tie the game in the second round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament in Kansas City
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Angel Rodriguez has decided to redshirt the 2013-2014 season, according to a release from Miami.

Rodriguez transferred into the program from Kansas State to be closer to his family — he went to high school in the area — and many were waiting to hear whether or not he would be granted a waiver to play immediately at the school.

But it turns out that Rodriguez never even applied for the waiver.

According to Miami head coach Jim Larrañaga, Rodriguez spent the summer trying to get to 100% as a couple of nagging injuries kept him off the court.

“One was a wrist injury, and one was a very serious tendinitis in his knee,” Larrañaga said. “When we had him visit with our trainer Wes Brown, Wes felt that it was so severe that he took him to our team doctors. They did x-rays and MRI’s, and eventually shut him down the entire summer.”

(MORE: Four key players still waiting for a waiver from the NCAA)

Eventually, both coach and player decided against applying for the waiver, which is a smart move beyond the simple fact that it will allow Rodriguez to be healthy heading into his final two years of eligibility. Miami lost basically everyone from last season, and while Larrañaga has done a solid job on the recruiting trail, Miami is does not have the firepower to make a real run at the NCAA tournament next season even with Rodriguez.

But with Texas transfer Sheldon McClellan sitting out 2013-2014 as well, and a talented recruiting class headlined by Ja’Quan Newton set to hit campus in 2014, the Hurricanes should be quite competitive in 2014-2015.

Why waste a year of Rodriguez’s eligibility when he’s not healthy and not going to change the outcome of their season?

Eli Carter, Joseph Young highlight list of six transfers waiting on a waiver

Eli Carter, Kyle Smyth
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Transfer rules are one of the most hotly debated topics in college basketball during the offseason.

Should players be forced to sit out a season if they want to change schools? Should the rule be disbanded, allowing everyone to be eligible immediately if they do decide to leave school? Should there be waivers in place to allow certain athletes to chance to be eligible immediately if a certain set of criteria are met? Does it make sense for the NCAA to evaluate hardship? Are graduate transfers really fair?

It’s been discussed so much that I’ve reached the point that I’m sick of the conversation. Nothing makes a college hoops scribe yearn for the season to begin more than listening to repeated arguments about amateurism and rule changes.

The debates, however, have allowed us to overlook the fact that there are still a handful of big name transfers waiting on waiver rulings:

Eli Carter, Florida: Carter left Rutgers this offseason after the Mike Rice scandal erupted in April. The 6-foot-2 lead guard is expected to get a waiver that will allow him to play immediate for Billy Donovan’s club, which would help the Gators with their back court depth, especially if Scottie Wilbekin’s suspension lasts into the season.

Trae Golden, Georgia Tech: Golden abruptly left Tennessee in May, opting to transfer to Georgia Tech where he is trying to obtain a waiver to play immediately due to the health of his father. The Yellow Jackets have some perimeter talent and front court size returning, and Golden could be the piece that turns Georgia Tech into a team with a shot at making the NCAA tournament.

Royce O’Neale, Baylor: O’Neale left Denver this spring after playing his sophomore season to transfer back to his native Texas. The Killeen, TX, native has a sick grandfather; Killeen is about a hour from Waco. O’Neale is a talented wing that averaged 11.2 points in a slowed-down system at Denver. He’s not a difference-maker, but he’d be a nice piece for Scott Drew on the wing.

Angel Rodriguez, Miami: Rodriguez left Kansas State a year later than most expected, heading home to be closer to his family. Rodriguez may benefit from sitting out the 2013-2014, as the Hurricanes lost everyone from last year’s ACC champs.

Ahmad Starks, Illinois: Starks, a Chicago native, transferred out of Oregon State to head closer to home to be with his Grandmother, who is reportedly suffering from Alzheimer’s. Illinois has a number of talented back court pieces on the roster, but a lot of them are young. Starks would bring some experienced depth to Jon Groce’s club.

Joseph Young, Oregon: Young is the most interesting transfer case on this list. He left Houston this spring as his father was reassigned to a position in the athletic department outside the basketball program. Young has two seasons of eligibility remaining but only two years to use them thanks to a forced-redshirt season as a freshman. He originally signed with Providence but backed-out of his NLI after his dad was rehired by the Cougars. He was forced to sit a season, but didn’t use a year of eligibility. If he doesn’t get the waiver, 2014-2015 will be his last season in college basketball. If he does, he will be another weapon in a talented Oregon backcourt. Young averaged 18.0 points as a sophomore.