Proposed NCAA transfer rule is not enough

A report from CBS Sports indicates that a change to the NCAA transfer rule allowing players to transfer after a coaching change has “picked up steam”.

It appears that one of the bigger injustices in college football will finally be solved. Every year, coaches take new jobs. Every year, that coach leaves behind 50 or more young men that he convinced should spend four of the most important years of his life playing for him.

Coaches take better job opportunities. There is nothing malicious about that. Although, It is unjust that those players are locked in to play for a coach they didn’t commit to.

NCAA transfer rule

The NCAA transfer rule has always been part of the bigger argument regarding the treatment of coaches and players. Coaches have complete mobility. Players don’t. There’s also the fact that while players get food and books, coaches make millions of dollars.

That doesn’t mean coaches shouldn’t be paid. You are worth what the market is willing to pay you. However, when you juxtapose coaches salaries with the value of an education, it’s obvious there is a problem.

That is where the NCAA transfer rule comes back into play. It’s preposterous that while such a compensation discrepancy exists, so does a mobility one. If players are going to be so grossly under compensated, they shouldn’t also be punished for wanting to move into a better situation.

There are coaches like Todd Graham, who at one point coached for three programs in three years, and never had to sit out or take a break. Perhaps he felt Pittsburgh and then Arizona State were better situations, and the timing was weird, that’s his prerogative. Players should be afforded the same luxury.

Not enough

However, the proposed NCAA transfer rule change isn’t enough. It’s a step in the right direction, but it shouldn’t be the finish line.

Players would still be at the behest of the coaches, and a coach staying at a school doesn’t inherently mean that is still the right situation for the player.

Yes, players being able to move more freely would create a certain degree of roster instability. Coaches can adjust.

The most important aspect of college athletics is its core, the student athletes. These are the young people going through the most important four years of their life. If, in that very short period of time, someone feels their situation is not maximizing their talents and abilities, they should be free to move.

This has a minimal effect on your viewing experience. It certainly won’t hurt the massive flow of money lining the pockets of the folks in Indianapolis.

Obviously, this proposed rule change is a step in the right direction. It is also unrealistic to expect the NCAA to make the jump to a free, non-conditional transfer immediately. In terms of mobility, players will have to take these proverbial five and six yard runs. Mark Emmert and the NCAA’s good ol’ boys club want to control the sport as much as possible.


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