NCAA Considering Transfer Model Adjustments

By Jason Priestas on January 4, 2013 at 10:40a

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703Buckeye's picture

I agree that players should be able to play immediately upon transferring given they meet g.p.a. requirements. But things can get muddy here; what about an enginering major with a 2.5? Does the general studies major with a 2.7 deserve to transfer over the engineering student?
Since I tend to be a bit of a hard-ass anyway, I propose the g.p.a. threshold should be 3.0. You want to play immediately, show you're a strong student.

"Attack the Strong, Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead!"
-Former OSU S&C Coach Lichter

rdubs's picture

I wouldn't be surprised if there are essentially 0 student-athletes that fit that bill.  If they are academically capable of doing engineering and playing a sport they probably will be able to keep their GPA up too.  If they are incapable of keeping their GPA up they are probably going to pick a different major too.

OSUStu's picture

Not to mention, I would bet there are few engineering majors (or others serious about physical or life sciences) that are looking to transfer based solely on playing their sport.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

703Buckeye's picture

I was using engineering more for a contrast to a easy major and bringing up major-difficulty when it comes to this g.p.a. requirement.

"Attack the Strong, Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead!"
-Former OSU S&C Coach Lichter

Bucksfan's picture

"Too bad.  Get your GPA up, and then you can transfer and not miss time."  There.  Pretty simple.
Artificially weighing GPAs based on difficulty of major is literally impossible.  For example, studying English at Duke might be just as hard, if not harder, as studying engineering at Central Florida.  I don't know.  You don't know.  No one really knows.  It's not the first thing I thought of when I saw this story, particularly because I bet less than 1% of all college football students are premed, prelaw or engineering majors.
Let the kids transfer freely, just like coaches.  Hell, maybe grades are suffering because the student is in an environment that they absolutely loathe.  So, maybe 2.6 is even too high.

BrooklynBuckeye's picture

...thus began the era of college free agency, effectively killing the myth of the scholar-athlete.
I'm against this. I think if a head coach leaves, a player should be allowed to leave, but if players are allowed to leave for no reason and immediately be eligible, the recruitment will never stop. Every week we'll read a new "Star athelete is displeased, mulling options" article. At some point, you have to say, "You did come here to play school."

yrro's picture

What use does the myth have, if it is only a myth?
These players didn't come to play school. They haven't come to play school for decades, we just like to pretend that they did so we can justify not paying them what they're worth to the school's budget.

BrooklynBuckeye's picture

I think there's something to the indentured servitude argument for football, but not for basketball (or hypothetically any other sport). If you don't wanna go to school, go get paid to play somewhere else (Brandon Jennings trip to the NBA wasn't derailed from sitting on the bench in Europe for a year). In football, there's no way most future NFL players' bodies would be physically ready at 18, so they get a free education, free conditioning/practice and exposure for the NFL. It's not fair, but I think any attempt to try to make it fair (other than a small universal stipend) is only going to corrupt the system more. A universal stipend still wouldn't change anything, because star players would still think they're worth more than a punter, or women's volleyball player, and shady boosterism would stilll run rampant, only without the hardship excuse that makes everyone sypmathize with the athlete.
Imagine a Cam Newton situation without the stolen laptops. Now you have a star player, who's buried on the depth chart behind Tebow, and his father would start auctioning him off to the highest bidder while he's still enrolled at Florida. Boosters would have to up the ante to keep players as if they were renegotiating contracts. Coaches playing backups would be making a mistake, because they're giving their soon-to-be free agent valuable exposure.
I am biased in that I want to preserve college football. It makes a lot of sense to adopt a model like baseball and soccer, where kids can sign professional contracts at any age, and then are fostered through years of training and elevated through the system. That would kill college football, though.
Since football also has a much higher injury rate, and shorter career-span, football players would benefit the most from a college education. It's a compicated problem; I'm not endorsing any one solution, I'm just against this particular plan. If a freshman wants to make sure he can maintain a 2.5 GPA, it's not that difficult, especially only taking electives (that's without any grade doctoring, which I'm sure is much more rampant than we realize).

William's picture

I think there's something to the indentured servitude argument for football

Does anyone even know what indentured servitude was? These guys are free to walk away from the programs they choose at any time. An indentured servant was never allowed to go "Well shit, I don't like this, think I'll drop my plow and walk away." And dear God, they're being given a free education worth anywhere from $50,000-$100,000. Yes they make several sacrifices, but a free college education and a shot at professional sports is certainly fair. 

BrooklynBuckeye's picture

You're right, I didn't mean that's what I would call it, just that when other people call college football a free farm system, with unpaid labor, they often use that term. I agree, not analogous to indentured servitude, just meant that's the exaggerated argument that people make when saying the sytem has to change. There are few things like the Supreme Court telling someone that if they want to do a job they have to do it for free for three years. There are possible exceptions (CFL, etc...) but for the most part, that's the gist of it. If you want to do this job, you are not allowed to be paid to do it for three years. I pointed out everything scholar-athletes get in my post, I believe, though, that college athletes wouldn't get anything without college football and basketball, so there is an obvious imbalance between value and compensation.

hodge's picture

So much this.
I would loathe to see a world where the Sabans (and yes, Meyers as well) continually recruit other players from other teams ad-nauseum.  It would completely destroy the relative parity that the sport is beginning to acheive (we have more mid-majors and BCS-busting non-bluebloods than ever before in this sport--while a number of historically elite programs are down).  Imagine Lane Kiffin luring Johnny Manziel out of A & M for USC; it would make a complete mockery of the non-elite landscape, as top-tier coaches offer better facilities and prestige opportunities to players on less-fortunate teams--rather than allowing those elite players and unique "system"-style coaches to build up worthy challengers to the bluebloods of the sport.
The only problem with the transfer system is that players don't commit to schools, they commit to coaches, and the systems they implement.  This very problem would be solved with your aforementioned solution, allow free transfers when a coach leaves.  To be fair, though; this could hurt a lot of elite schools, as coaching turnover could plausably take a large number of elite althletes with them.

RBuck's picture

I would loathe to see a world where the Sabans (and yes, Meyers as well) continually recruit other players from other teams ad-nauseum.

Easy way to handle that. Make it a rule that coaches cannot contact an active player unless first contacted by the player.

Long live the southend.

buck-I.8's picture

At least make it an incentive, rather than offer it for a GPA that is fairly low. Say "If you get a 3.5 you've earned the right to pursue that education anywhere you'd like and still continue your career without pause." But I think the 2.6 is attainable enough that it cheapens the commitment to a program

Riggins's picture

Don't care for this idea at all. A 2.6 is a ridiculously low bar. The recruiting  burnout would be even greater for these head coaches who are already pushing the boundaries of a balanced life.

Just put in a rule that says if the head coach leaves or is fired then you are free to transfer.

Dean's picture

This is a great move for players.  Locking players in is incredibly unfair to the athletes, who have no recourse if it turns out that they are unhappy at the program they chose.  The strict transfer rules are at least part of the reason that oversigning has such awful consequences for the players that don't make the cut.  At least this way, those guys can go somewhere else and play.
Given that college football players are not being paid to be where they are, and that they have necessarily limited information about the program they end up choosing out of high school, it's only fair to give them maximum flexibility in choosing a place and team to play for.

Ohio State Ombre's picture

i agree with the 3.0 idea. 90% of the major D-1 football athletes are in majors where all tht is required to get above a 3.0 is to show up to class and spend a few hours a week studying. if you are truly a student athlete, that isnt a problem. I do understand that argument of harder majors, such as engineering. I am in engineering now (set to graduate in may) and can honestly say if a D-1 football player could keep a 2.5 in this major, ill give him all the credit in the world

Ethan's picture

I very much dislike this idea. As others have said, a rule like this would essentially serve as free agency at the college level. The benefit of the current rules is that it discourages prima donnas from committing to a school and then flipping to the next flavor-of-the-week school. A 2.6 as the requirement? I know these guys have to juggle athletics too, but a 2.6 isn't that hard to get. That's basically the NCAA allowing any kid that goes to class to transfer whenever they want. 
Don't like this one bit.

cplunk's picture

The transfer rules for a student athlete should frankly be exactly the same as the transfer rules for any other student. I don't have aproblem with letting these guys transfer.
Also, they need to do away with the rule where the player's current school can rule out some schools as destinations for the transfer. That is ridiculous. 
I realize the implications of opening transfers like this (basically recruiting becomes all year, every year- you have to recruit your own players back each season), but if we're going to say that these guys are students then we should let them have the same rules as any other student.
To me, its simple- either they are students or they're something else.
If they're students, they should have all the same rights as anybody on an academic scholarship; the ability to transfer anywhere at any time, the ability to hold part time jobs, the ability to accept gifts if people want to give them, the ability to sell their autographs and earn money for the use of their likenesses, etc, etc.
If they're something other than students, then we can have special rules but we need to stop calling them students and do away with things like requiring they attend classes or graduate. 
We're trying to have it both ways.

Bucksfan's picture

They already ARE something else.  No one is pretending that they're just students.  They already have all sorts of priority rights and perks that other students don't have.  They're not on academic scholarship, they're on an athletic scholarship...which have completely different requirements.  You can't, nor should you, put a blanket set of rules on a student body full of people who are at the university for literally thousands of different reasons.
But they already have the right to transfer whenever they please just like any other student.  No one is stopping them.  Hundreds of football players do it every year.  I don't see what your problem is.  The rule in place that athletes can't compete for a year if they transfer has a pretty clear purpose.  But that can't apply to students who don't play sports, because, well, they don't play a sport!

cplunk's picture

The current setup is to me competely unfair to the players. I understand your point about blanket rules, but I have an issue with restricting some of the things that are restricted. The restrictions are largely setup to prevent the kinds of things that happen with high level players, but there are 117 schools in D1 with football programs, and 85 scholarships per school. the vast majority of those players are not going to be in the NFL. They are, in fact, students.
It is unfair to me that they are then restricted above and beyond other students. For example, coaches can block the players from transferring to any schools that the coach wishes. This happens all the time. Here's a recent example:
This also happened last year with the QB that transferred from Maryland to Wisconsin. Maryland's coach blocked him from transferring to any ACC school.
Many players choose the schools they choose due to geographic proximity to home, and it seems unfair that a coach can then decide to block them from, for example, transferring to other schools in the same conference. Those other schools likely represent the other schools geogrpahically close to home.
I really don't have a problem with letting players play immediately after transferring. I also don't have any issue letting them transfer anytime they want, anywhere they want.
They would still, like any other student, have to be accepted by the school to which they wish to attend, also like any other student. If that school is lowering its academic standards for football, either new students or transfers, then THAT is the problem we should be attacking rather than the student trying to transfer.