Everybody has the right to change their mind. But the NCAA wouldn’t mind if student-athletes did that a little less often, according to Dana O’Neill of ESPN. The NCAA is looking into the problem of transfers, namely that transfer rates are at an all-time high, particularly in college basketball.
“According to the NCAA, 40 percent of men’s college basketball players will not be competing at their original school by the end of their sophomore year. Think about that: Four out of 10 players will ditch their so-called binding letter of intent after two years.” ~ Dana O’Neill
Four out of every ten?!? That number is simply crazy. Sure, it is very exciting to see your school or favorite team pick up an established player when he decides to abandon another school. But it is equally as upsetting to see one of your own leave to go elsewhere.
What is causing all of these transfers to occur? It is true that some students go off to school and realize that it simply isn’t a good fit for them, but that appears to make up such a small minority of transferrings, particularly with athletes. Too often you have other coaches and players getting in their ear, trying to pull them in a different direction. The way AAU ball and recruiting works these days, the connections college players have with coaches and other teams across the country are numerous and very significant. And they are something that the NCAA is going to try and monitor.
“What we hear from coaches is that the third parties and their influence on a young person leaving school, convincing them that the grass is totally greener, is rampant,” Lennon said. “And that’s really hard to get at from a rules perspective.” ~ Kevin Lennon, VP of Academic and Membership Affairs for the NCAA
While it may be tough, something needs to be done to keep players from bouncing from team to team all over the country. The NCAA already has a hard enough time defending the image of “student-athletes”, and allowing players to roam free-agency-style won’t help their cause.
The NCAA has a golden opportunity right now to crack down and take control of this issue before it gets even further out of hand. Let’s hope they do the right thing.