The latest numbers on the transfer epidemic

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The summer of the transfer.

That’s what the seven months between Kentucky cutting down the nets in New Orleans and the 2012-2013 season kicking off in November has turned into.

It began when Bo Ryan tried to block former player Jarrod Uthoff from transferring to 26 different schools back in April and has continued to snowball as nearly 450 Division I college basketball players have transferred.

The transfer epidemic has raised a number of questions — Should schools be allowed to block where a kid wants to transfer? Is forcing them to sit out a year fair? Should the eligibility waivers that allow immediate play be given out? — but before we get into how to solve a problem, we need to know just how big the problem is.

And according USA Today, this year’s transfer rate was 10.9%. Perhaps more telling, however, is the fact that 40% of freshmen basketball players never make it to the end of their sophomore season. Just 2% leave to play pro ball, meaning that about 27% of incoming freshmen end up leaving school for something other than a professional contract of another scholarship.

Frankly, that’s a bigger issue in my eyes. The kids that end up leaving school without another place to either a) play while getting paid or b) play while getting their education paid for are the ones we should be concerned about.

“The number that causes me alarm isn’t that 10.7 or 10.9 (%) or whatever the number is in men’s basketball,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said. “It’s that 40% of men’s basketball student-athletes aren’t at their original school by the end of their sophomore year because they’ve transferred, they’ve dropped out, they’ve moved on. So we’ve got a significant lack of persistence (in the sport). And we know that kind of movement, one way or another, is really detrimental to kids getting an education.”

Transfers are going to happen. With more teams entering Division I, expectations for every player talented to earn a scholarship growing, and the patience to wait for a chance to get into the rotation diminishing, they aren’t going to be slowing down anytime soon.

But at least those kids are staying in school. At least they are continuing towards their degree.

And at the end of the day, isn’t the stated goal of the NCAA to get kids educate through excellence in sports?

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.