The original NCAA rule, instituted in 2006, was intended to allow student-athletes to transfer and enroll in a graduate program not offered at their undergrad school. Of course, it also made those student-athletes who had graduated essentially free agents.
If it were up to some, there would be no graduate transfers.
The original NCAA rule, instituted in 2006, was intended to allow student-athletes to transfer and enroll in a graduate program not offered at their undergrad school.
Of course, it also made those student-athletes who had graduated essentially free agents. And from the beginning, there were coaches who did not like that.
Grant Teaff, who was executive director of the American Football Coaches Association in 2006, told reporters this back then: “Check the history. Prior to the NCAA, guys would make All-American at different schools. There were no eligibility rules, no transfer rules. It became big business to get guys to go from one school to another.”
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And Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari said this last year to The (Louisville) Courier Journal: “Playing right away (as a graduate transfer), I don’t think it’s good for the kids. Many of them leave the school, don’t even tell the coach. They text him and say, ‘I’m going.’ What? How about teaching them to be a man.
“You have coaches now that are holding kids back academically so they can’t graduate. Is that what we want? I mean, it’s real simple: It’s awful for mid-major coaches, for programs, and I don’t think it’s good for the kids. I really don’t.”
On the other hand, many coaches say a player who earns a degree deserves the right to transfer without the penalty of sitting out a year.
Seattle University men’s basketball coach Jim Hayford has heard the cheers and the jeers regarding graduate transfers.
The same year he welcomed grad transfer Austin McBroom to his Eastern Washington basketball team, Eastern fans were frustrated that their star quarterback, Vernon Adams, was using the same rule to leave the Eagles and play his senior season of football for Oregon.
“What’s the goal here?” Hayford asked. “To get your degree. When guys have done what they should have and earned their degree, they should be allowed some freedom to go pursue a graduate education and still keep their last year of eligibility.”
Jordan Mathews helped Gonzaga to the national-title game last season, leaving California as a graduate transfer despite being one of the Bears’ best players.
It’s a different story for Seattle U graduate transfers Jordan Hill, Josh Hearlihy and Richaud Gittens. All transferred in search of a bigger role — and they found that.
“Coaches leave to get million-dollar contracts; we leave because we want a better opportunity, and you gotta sit out a year?” Hill said. “That doesn’t make a lot of sense. (The graduate-transfer rule) definitely benefited me, so I have nothing bad to say about it.”