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NCAA Committee Recommends Instant Eligibility For Transfers Depending On Grades

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-2nd Round-Michigan State vs Delaware

[NCAA] - The Division I Committee on Academics will recommend to the Transfer Working Group that four-year transfer student-athletes who meet specific grade-point average and progress-toward-degree requirements be able to compete immediately at the second school.

The academic data reviewed by the committee indicated that, on average, sitting out a year of competition following a transfer may not be academically necessary for student-athletes with a strong scholastic foundation.  As a result, the committee will recommend benchmarks that align with successful academic progress after transfer.

Committee members agreed those benchmarks should include a GPA between 3.0 and 3.3 and a requirement that students be academically eligible for competition at the time of transfer, based on their progress toward earning a degree within five years of initial enrollment.

There is going to be absolutely no in between here. People will hate or love this idea. I’m on the side of loving it. I’ve been rather vocal about players having the right to transfer without being forced to sit. I mean, they are student-athletes, right? Other students don’t have to sit out a year if they want to transfer last time I checked, so why make the athletes?

That said, the one thing I don’t like here is the academic standpoint. Why put a limit on what a kid needs in order to transfer? Plus, there are ways to game the system. If a player truly wants to keep his options open, he’s not going to take hard classes, coast through the easy ones and leave that door open. Which is fine, but at the same time, you don’t want that to be the way it’s done.

Transferring is not an epidemic as much as certain people want to say it is. It’s a tricky subject though. For instance, right away I think it needs to be made known that if your coach leaves, whether you stepped on the court or an incoming freshman, you should be able to transfer with no restrictions and no sitting out. Speaking of restrictions, that’s something that needs to go away. How many times do we hear about a player being able to transfer but not within the conference or not to a school they are playing in the next two years? Who cares? If you’re a coach and you’re that worried about one player beating you, you do whatever it takes to, oh, I don’t know, get on the floor with your team.

All in all this is still an important and right step though. Let players have the right to make decision about what’s best for them and their career. For instance I saw this floating around yesterday:

Jon is a nice guy, but this is an incredibly dumb way to think. Remember, the reason that Matt Mooney is transferring is because his coach left. Was his coach ‘all in’ with a program? What about when his coach was waiting to find out if he got a job? Did he give it some thoughts? We need to get away from this asinine way of thinking and let these kids make decisions like every other college kid.

The next step is this proposal will go in front of the Transfer Working Group who will make a ruling on this. If accepted,the academic exception would become effective for the 2019-20 academic year; the current rule would then be eliminated after the 2020-21 academic year.