The college basketball landscape is riddled with transfers every year, and that could be increasing in a big way very soon across all NCAA sports.
According to 247 Sports’ Andrew Slater, the NCAA is considering a rule that would allow all Division-I transfers to be eligible to play immediately. So long as these players meet academic requirements, they will be free to transfer and not have to sit out a year while at their new school.
Here’s an excerpt from Slater’s report:
The only potential restrictions are that student-athletes would be asked to meet a minimum GPA, in order to transfer immediately, and that any additional transfer would require the student-athletes to sit out a full year. The proposal, which is being solicited among members for feedback, is gaining increased traction in recent weeks, a source confirms.
The proposal must be completed by November 1. The members of the Transfer Working Group will continue to seek feedback from fellow coaches, directors, commissioners and student-athletes in the days ahead, but it is becoming more likely that the proposal will be voted upon next April with the possibility of this going into effect as early as the 2018-19 calendar.
If this happens, college sports well effectively become professional sports in terms of players being able to leave and find new teams much easier. The one-year requirement to sit out often deters players from transferring who are considering such. Taking that way means we’re about to see a lot more players changing teams on a yearly basis.
That’s not to say these kids don’t deserve the right to transfer and be able to play immediately. It’s just going to cause a lot of chaos and make building a team that much harder to accomplish.
Currently, the only way a college transfer can become immediately eligible is if he/she is a graduate transfer, or they get a hardship waiver form the NCAA. Being a graduate transfer usually requires students to be at a school for 3-4 years before being able to transfer and be immediately eligible.
I do believe there’s a middle ground that can be found here. Instead of making all players eligible to transfer and play immediately, perhaps make that only apply to sophomores and above.
Plenty of college freshman want to transfer after one season, but they ultimately find their way and stay the course at said school. Giving them free rein to transfer after one year is going to lead to a lot of bad decisions being made.