Posted: 4/23/2012 6:48:00 AM
Seems every day there are new names popping up on the transfer list for college basketball, a list that has grown to well over 350 players; new ones arriving daily. And while the NCAA has rules in place to try and prevent and limit these transfers they don't seem to be working. So it might just be time to change the rules or at least tweak them.
Even the Washington Post has weighed in on what has been described as an epidemic of transfers in college basketball.
The Post called it the "play me now" culture and that really is a perfect way to describe the current state of college basketball in this day and age. If it isn't just the one-and-done phenomena that is costing programs players it is the rate of transfers as well.
The NCAA has made transferring easier for players who are wishing to leave their schools for a variety of reasons and these players are taking advantage of it. And while not everyone is transferring for purely selfish reasons, it does seem like a majority seem to be seeking more playing time.
A lot of coaches even put their own rules in place to limit where players can transfers, especially to rival schools and within conferences.
Duke was hit with the transfer bug earlier this month with Michael Gbinije looking to expand his role and start anew somewhere else. UConn has seen two of their top players in Alex Oriakhi and now Roscoe Smith, a former Duke target, opting to leave their program.
Smith just announced his decision late last week and along with the NBA defections UConn is seeing their program completely decimated.
However, the Blue Devils, nor any other program, have taken that kind of hit. UConn is kind of to blame due to its miserable academic performance, which has forced them out of post season action next year and thus its players are looking to find a chance to resume their careers elsewhere without such crippling NCAA sanctions.
It will be interesting to see where all of these players end up going. Most have their eyes set on contenders while others go to programs where they can get immediate playing time once they are eligible.
Duke is in play for at least one transfer, Mississippi State's Rodney Hood, and perhaps Smith, who was a Blue Devil target before he chose UConn, might consider Duke again.
But in most cases, no matter where these players end up going, unless they are granted a very rare waiver by the NCAA, all will have to sit out a year before they become eligible.
This has been a standard practice that perhaps was enacted to limit the number of transfers but it hasn't worked. Players are still electing to transfer but why and what can be done about it?
Kids transfer in high school, they leave their AAU teams for other teams all the time. It is an idea that has become engrained in the culture of today's young athlete.
'If I'm not happy with my situation, I'll just go somewhere else.'
And that doesn't appear to be anything the NCAA can change anytime soon. So the only option is to look at changing rules.
Players currently have to sit out a year and are often limited by their coaches as to where they can transfer.
As I mentioned earlier there is a double standard for coaches and players. Currently coaches can leave a program when they are under contract and get to coach the next year. Players aren't given that luxury. But lifting the one year waiting period on transfers would just mean more of them.
So what do you do instead?
I have a few ideas that might work. First you could offer transfers the option of sitting out a year or a) losing a year of eligibility to play right away, or b) having them play right away but have to wait a year to gain a full scholarship.
Both continue to perpetuated the desire for playing right away and that certainly wouldn't be a fix all.
But this way you can have a couple options for players and really test how badly they want to transfer. If they are willing to risk a scholarship or a year of eligibility, they must want out of their situation pretty badly.
Players top priority as college athletes should be school, but we all know that isn't the case in a lot of instances so perhaps forcing an academic requirement to transfer might also limit the number of transfers and force the players to have good academic standing to play at their next school.
There are a lot of things the NCAA could look at in order to try and reduce the number of transfers but it isn't a governing body that works with a lot of haste in making changes.
For now it is business as usual and as the play me now mentality grows so will the number of transfers.
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