In April, Jon Horford transferred out of Michigan. Within three weeks, he decided to enroll at Florida, and gained immediate eligibility thanks to the graduate transfer rule.
However, the president of his new university is against immediate eligibility for players who graduate. Here’s what University of Florida president Bernie Machen said regarding graduate transfers at SEC spring meetings on Friday, courtesy of CBS Sports.
“If they really wanted to transfer somewhere else, they should sit out a year,” Machen said Friday at the SEC spring meetings. “Why didn’t Horford stay at Michigan another year? Because he had a free pass.”
When asked why not give athletes the flexibility to transfer once they’ve accomplished the goal of graduating, Machen replied, “Go to grad school at Michigan. They have some pretty good grad schools. … It’s really just a way for a school to fill a void at the very last minute, or a player going to get more playing time without having to sit out.”
It wasn’t just the Florida men’s basketball team that benefited from the rule either. The Gators football team added former Virginia tight end Jake McGee.
Machen was opposed to a rule change that was voted on Friday. Graduate transfers are now allowed to play in the SEC without needing a waiver first. As long as they meet certain standards such as, good academic standing at their previous school, earning all APR points, and having no disciplinary infractions.
The president may not be a fan of Hoford’s transfer, but at 6-foot-10, he will certainly help replace the production of four Florida starters from last season’s national semifinalist team. Horford averaged 3.8 points and 4.2 rebounds in less than 14 minutes a contest for the Big Ten regular season champion.