We could be heading towards a big change to the transfer rule in college football. The NCAA has really struggled with the prevalence of transfers in the sport now, and figuring out when it is appropriate to grant immediate eligibility. Kirk Herbstreit isn’t a huge fan of a new NCAA proposal.
As rules have moved in the direction of player’s rights, the NCAA could be tackling transfers soon. A new proposal would allow first-time players to play right away, provided they receive a release, are academically eligible, and don’t have disciplinary issues. The proposal has pretty broad support, especially as many point out the hypocrisy in coaches freely jumping from job to job on an annual basis, while the players they sell on coming to their schools have little recourse.
The proposal isn’t universally accepted though. ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit, one of the biggest college football voices in media, said things could get “really messy when you just start letting players come and go as they please,” today on The Paul Finebaum Show. “I’ll just be very candid. I’m a little bit partial to this because I feel like—I use myself for an example—things did not go my way when I got to Ohio State,” he continued. “My inclination as a 19-year-old was to leave. I wanted to go play baseball, I wanted to go to another school, I just… this was too hard, too political. I wanted out.
It is an argument that plenty of former college athletes have made. Players now may be more quick-trigger on deciding to leave their schools, and there is definitely something to waiting things out and making an informed decision. But it also doesn’t mean that holding players in an untenable situation is the best solution either. The full clip with Herbstreit:
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) February 25, 2020
There are definitely situations in which players may be better off staying put and trying to make things work. For Herbstreit, that was the case. He went on to start at quarterback for the Buckeyes in 1992, his final collegiate season. Now he’s one of the faces of the sport.
Even so, it doesn’t mean that the approach is right for every college athlete. Locking players into choices they made when they were 17 or 18 doesn’t make a ton of sense either, especially if their head coach or position coach abruptly takes another job a few months into their college careers.
A one-time pass for players to really find the right program for them after they’ve learned a bit more about college football and the life it brings doesn’t seem like the worst thing in the world.