Daily Cavalcade: Transfer Waiver Rules. The NCAA Is ... Right?!

Daily Cavalcade: Transfer Waiver Rules. The NCAA Is ... Right?!

College Football Cavalcade

Daily Cavalcade: Transfer Waiver Rules. The NCAA Is ... Right?!


The NCAA is tweaking the transfer policy for players seeking immediate eligibility … that’s not a bad thing.

A broken clock is right twice a day, but you have to wait a long, long time to get there.

Ugh … I can’t believe there’s an NCAA policy decision I don’t hate.

Ugh … I can’t believe I’m buying into the talking points, and the general theory that transferring to another school and playing right away shouldn’t be as easy as ordering a latte. 

Ugh … I can’t believe I’m going here, but …

The NCAA is kinda, sorta, possibly, maybe close to be more right than not when it comes to the way it wants to enforce its instant eligibility requirements for transfers.

What’s happening? You can read the entire NCAA breakdown here, but in a nutshell, the schools involved in the transfer on both sides have to do a stronger job of providing more proof that the players are in good academic standing, or are being threatened, or if there’s a health issue, or if there’s a family reason why they have to switch schools.

Okay, okay, okay … so all of this is a fancy schmancy way of the NCAA to try to stop college football free agency. That’s not that crazy – NFL players can’t bolt to other teams until they hit a certain level.

To be clear about what’s happening, the NCAA isn’t saying it’s going to deny players from transferring. It’s saying the players who want to transfer and play right away will need more of an argument than just, “I’m not as good as the other guy who took my starting spot and there’s an opening somewhere else.”

The NCAA is tightening up. It’s nipping something in the bud before players try to take advantage of the system.

It gave Shea Patterson a break on instant eligibility when he left Ole Miss for Michigan – the rationale being that Ole Miss was getting hit with penalties for being naughty. It didn’t even blink when Justin Fields wanted to leave Georgia for Ohio State after an alleged racist taunting incident, but it somehow allowed Tate Martell to be able to play right away when he left OSU and landed at Miami.

All three of those players were able to bypass the normal one season waiting period before being eligible, and now the NCAA is putting up another step or two to assure that players should be able to play right away legitimate reasons.

Again, we’re talking about instant eligibility, and not whether or not the player can transfer. The player isn’t being denied a chance to go to another school, attend classes and, you know … learn. This is about whether or not he can immediately play a sport. That’s where the grad transfer rules help.

It was a bone thrown to the players. You want to become an unrestricted free agent? Graduate, and you can do what you want. But is that enough?

Can a coach leave at anytime and take another job? Of course, but there’s usually a buyout clause that acts as a penalty. Give players instant eligibility to transfer because they’re not as good at college football as one of the other guys on the team, and there’s no penalty for breaking the LOI contract without the threat of taking away a season.

Bring out the world’s smallest violin for the coaches, but entire recruiting classes are sometimes created around the players they were able to bring aboard in previous years. And yes, when a player signs his Letter Of Intent, it’s a contract to play for – even if the compensation isn’t enough or fair – a scholarship.  

The solution to all of this is so simple. If a head coach leaves for any reason or is fired, the players are allowed to transfer and be eligible to play right away without losing a year of eligibility. 

There’s one other easy way to solve this. If a player wants to transfer to another school for any reason, fine; here’s a bus ticket and a peanut butter sandwich. The player has to sit out a year, BUT, he doesn’t lose any eligibility. 

Next up, NCAA, do a better job of explaining the transfer portal rules.


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