College football transfers moving through the “transfer portal” has been the talk of this offseason. The list of college football transfers goes on and on: Justin Fields left Georgia to head to Ohio State, Tate Martell from Ohio State to Miami,..
The Transfer Situation
Quote via Dan Murphy of ESPN, http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/25999149/ncaa-committee-reviewing-college-football-transfer-guidelines
“The NCAA has started an all-encompassing review of the guidelines it uses when granting immediate eligibility to athletes who transfer from one school to another before finishing their degree…
“We do believe attention on a small number of high-profile requests can skew perceptions of the scope of staff and committee review,” said Kaity McKittrick, chair of the legislative relief committee. “Each waiver request is reviewed individually, as they each present a unique fact pattern and almost always confidential information about the student.”
It use to be that college football transfers would only move around in extreme circumstances. Since a rule change in 2018, 64 FBS players applied for immediate-eligibility waivers – 51 (79.7 percent) received approvals. It has become easier then ever for a player to leave a school and not sit out a season. This will become a bigger problem down the road.
The Drawback of College Football Transfers
I’m typically one to embrace change if it is better for the sport. However; allowing college football transfers to run wild seems counter productive. It takes away from recruiting which college football is built on. Working, scouting and recruiting would obviously still be important. The difference is coaches will have to worry about other teams poaching players they worked so hard for. On the other hand – its easy to point to the obvious transfers that were best for everyone such as Justin Fields. He was not going to dethrone Jake Fromm at Georgia so he took his talents North. The drawback is, that sends Tate Martell South and it shakes everything up creating an almost free agency system in college football.
Is Transferring Quitting?
Putting aside the recruiting being less impactful and the poaching of players – its an easy way for kids to quit. If a player needs to move back home because a family member is sick or there is a life situation they can’t deal with, let them transfer to accommodate it. But if a player decides he doesn’t want to compete with someone for the starting job or they get mad at their coach, why let them leave? Tate Martell said he wanted to transfer and cited Urban Meyer’s suspension as a reason why. This just happens to coincide with Justin Fields transferring in. I use this example because Martell is considered the one who could break the transfer rule wide open if allowed (which Fields already did).
When Fields was allowed to leave it was the end of it all. Now we have a system that allows underclassmen to move around for any reason. Players can leave if they don’t win the starting job.
What To Do?
The old system may have had flaws but the new system coddles players. Recruiting means less and young talent can leave without consequence. Development of a player could fall by the wayside as more of them want to be rushed onto the field.. I’m not saying every player needs to be locked in for four years after signing day. However; their commitment should be worth something.
Started Saturday Tailgate in 2018. Covering all things college football and talking Notre Dame on Twitter.