Ideas on how to approach transfer rule
Success in sports isn't always purely about talent. Talent is a necessity, no doubt, but it tells only half of the story. Ask basketball players why some talented players never make it -- or why nominally talented players do -- and they likely will confirm that success is as much about "fit" as it is about the level of talent one possesses.
Fit isn't only about how a player fits into an offensive or defensive structure. It's also about academics, whether that player gets an opportunity to have the right role with his team, and whether that player can gain the confidence he needs to be successful (along with talent, confidence is the biggest reason why a player succeeds or fails).
When a player doesn't truly fit his current team, he looks elsewhere. It's tough to transfer schools -- trust me, I have done it. A player usually transfers because he is unhappy with the fit. Sometimes it's about there being too many guys at a position, or that a player wants to step up or down in level of competition, or a player gets in trouble with grades or off-court issues. Sometimes a player just can't play under a coach's system or deal with his temperament. Asking for your "release" is actually the biggest grown-up moment of a college kid's life.
From Greg Anthony (Portland to UNLV) to Wes Johnson (Iowa State to Syracuse), to Rotnei Clarke (Arkansas to Butler) this year, there has been no shortage of high-profile transfers in college basketball over the years. And there is no doubt that kids leave their current school far too quickly these days.
Still, there has been a call by some to change the transfer rules. Traditionally, a player seeking a release has to sit for a full year in order to play at his next school. This has rubbed many the wrong way for years, as the coach of the school the player is leaving actually still has control over where a player can transfer. Some have called for players to not have to sit out a year. Others have said that there should be no restrictions on movement, especially with the coaching carousel that occurs every year.
However, I feel strongly that transfers should have to sit out a season before being able to play for their new teams. Here are my eight proposed rules for how the NCAA should handle the transfer policy, designed with the intention of protecting both coaches and players during the transfer process.
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