May 28, 2006

Free Transfers, no waiting. Must have sheepskin.

In what can only be described as evidence of eternal ignorance of its constituents, CBS Sportsline reports the NCAA has passed a by-law that allows a fifth-year senior to transfer schools without penalty if he/she has earned their bachelor degree.

Very little proactive communication on the part ot the NCAA - West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez admits he knew nothing about this rule a month after it passed.

Sounds good in principle - allow any student-athlete who has completed his four years of undergrad to move to a different university's graduate program without sitting out a year of sports action. Sounds horrible in a worst case scenario.
"It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out," said Brian Lutz, Toledo's compliance director. "It's the potential of bigger schools cherry-picking smaller schools. It's not something that happens a lot."
I, like the commenters at the bottom of the CBS story, do not expect it to have much impact except in an extreme hypothetical case.

Imagine if in 2005
Bruce Gradkowski of Toledo would have chosen to move out of the MAC and to a BCS school desparately in need of a one-year solution at QB (Maryland, Florida State, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee come to mind with the benefit of hindsight). That would have quickly changed the balance of power in two conferences. But here are variables that would make this case moot in real life...
  • Gradkowski's academic standing as a marketing major
  • The quality of the graduate programs at the schools mentioned above
  • How many marketing majors go for a masters anyway? Most jump right into junior analyst roles or begin sales careers immediately after college.
See, it would take a perfect storm of opportunities to have a major effect on a football team, and in the end it might be best for a true academian with a little football talent to finish up college in style.

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