Friday, May 25, 2012

One Transfer Rule I Can Live With

It seems there is lots of discussion about college athletes transferring lately. Why are so many athletes transferring and how can the NCAA limit such moves?

One transfer rule the NCAA instituted in recent years involves final-year eligibility. If a student athlete has graduated from his/her university and still has a year of college playing available, he/she may go to another school and play immediately. The student athlete must attend graduate school and pursue a degree in field not offered at the previous school.

The most noticeable athlete to take advantage of the rule is Russell Wilson. Wilson starred at quarterback for three years at North Carolina State. He was also playing professional baseball and Wolfpack Coach Tom O’Brien wanted full football commitment out of Wilson. As Wilson pondered his decision, O’ Brien told him NC State was moving on. Wilson landed into the welcoming arms of the Wisconsin Badgers and put together a solid season.

I imagine some people consider this graduate transfer rule similar to other transfer situations and call for the athlete to sit out one season. But what happens if the athlete has already sat out one season as a redshirt? Also, isn’t the fact that he/she has already earned a degree worth something? Other students go to graduate school in other places than where they earned their undergraduate degrees.

Besides this is a select group of athletes. Trust me, folks: this isn’t a major problem. The NCAA should focus on some pressing issues such as policing more cheaters.

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