According to sources, it appears that the NCAA is considering some notable changes when it comes to players transferring at the Division-I level.
This past spring a 19 person task force was created, referred to as the Division I Transfer Working Group. The purpose of said group was to evaluate the transfer process and possibly work on improving the system involving transfers. It’s no surprise that transfers have been a prominent element of college basketball, especially with the rise of grad transfers over the years.
One of the potential ideas that has been discussed and is gaining traction as of late is the possibility of allowing transfers who achieve a minimum GPA to be immediately eligible when transferring to a new school. This reportedly would only be for the players first transfer, with the player having to sit a year if they were to transfer again, but the ramifications of this rule could have a huge effect.
It’s an interesting idea, but it does also come with some potential pitfalls. One of the criticisms about transfers is that with grad transfers being immediately eligible, it leads to bigger programs mining over mid-majors for talent, making it harder for smaller schools to retain some of their star players.
If the rules are eventually changed to allow players to be immediately eligible, it would allow a player from a smaller school to potentially have a breakout season and immediately move up to a bigger program. Of course this actually would be beneficial to players, but it could cause plenty of chaos at the lower levels and make it more difficult for mid-majors to retain their talented players. It would also likely lead to plenty of tampering going on behind the scenes, as top programs try to get players from mid-majors to fill out their roster.
Baylor head coach Scott Drew is one coach who isn’t on board with the potential rule change.
“It would be the worst rule ever," Drew said. "It would be the wild, wild west. Coaches don't agree on everything. On this I think we'd be unanimous."
“It would turn into one of the dirtiest recruiting periods that you've ever seen,” Hoosier head coach Archie Miller told Scout. “Coaches will recruit players right after games and now you can go directly to the source, it would cripple teams and programs.”
Purdue coach Matt Painter has an interesting idea when it comes to the potential rule change. While the Boilermaker coach isn’t a fan of the rule change as is, he does believe players should be immediately eligible in certain situations.
“I would not be in favor. It would not allow players to develop and grow as people and players. Any adversity would lead to a transfer and it would just retard their development,” said Painter. “This would lead to constant poaching and the business of instant gratification instead of growth and development.”
“What would make sense would be to allow players whose coach leaves or is fired to transfer and be immediately eligible,” Painter added.
According to Brett McMurphy, sources have told him that there are no official proposals as of now, meaning the rule change (if it were to happen) wouldn’t take effect for at least a few years.
That being said, if the NCAA would decide to approve said rule change, it would have an enormous effect on college basketball as we know it. While it would create plenty of storylines and controversy (accusations of tampering, more stories about the “transfer epidemic”), and coaches would absolutely hate it, this move would actually benefit players.
Look at it this way. An under-recruited guard is forced to take a scholarship from a mid-major program. After a season or two it becomes clear he has the talent to compete in a power conference. In the past he’d be forced to play in obscurity instead of playing for a top team and increasing the odds he could eventually go pro down the line. It could definitely benefit said player if he could move on up to a higher level and compete on a national scale.
So what are your guys opinion on the possible transfer rule changes? It would definitely create plenty of chaos at the collegiate level.