A few weeks ago, Houston running back Charles Sims announced that he was transferring from the Cougars program. This came as a bit of a surprise considering all of the success he had in it -- Sims has amassed over 4,000 offensive yards and 37 touchdowns as a member of the Houston football team, and was expected to be a large part of Cougars offense in 2013 after he decided to bypass the NFL Draft.
However, because Sims graduated this spring, he will be eligible to play right away wherever he ends up, due to the graduate transfer rule. The rule allows players to choose a new school to pursue a graduate degree at, as long as their current school doesn't offer the same program. This is a fantastic rule, because it allows athletes to continue their education after graduating in the best possible manner, without punishing those who still have athletic eligibility remaining.
However, this system is far from perfect, because schools themselves get to establish their own rules that athletes have to play by. Take Sims for example -- he wanted to get his graduate degree at Texas Tech. However, he is unable to do so, because, according to Joe Schad, Houston has created some stipulations on where he can't end up. Sims is unable to transfer to:
- Any other school in the American Athletic Conference
- Any school on Houston's 2013 schedule
- Any school in the state of Texas
Look, I 100% understand why schools don't want to have to face their former players -- especially ultra-talented ones like Sims. But if education is supposed to be the priority here, and a player has already graduated, that player should be able to freely choose what school they will attend next. Why stick it to a player that has already worked their tail off for you and your program?
I disagree with all restrictions placed on graduate transfers, but the third one listed against Sims is especially egregious -- he's not allowed to attend any other schools in Texas? Give me a break -- if your school won't end up playing the school a player wants to attend, the only reason you have to say no is that you are "showing the player who's boss," which is absolutely ridiculous.
The NCAA needs to step in and fix this mistake, but in the meantime, Charles Sims will have to look elsewhere for his graduate education. It is now rumored that he will be looking at California and West Virginia as possible destinations: