Tuesday, May 30, 2006

NCAA Free Agency

A new NCAA rule is about to take effect that could potentially rock college sports. Proposal 2005-54, if allowed to take effect, would allow any college athlete that has earned a degree and has a year of eligibility left (redshirts) to transfer to any other school to play out their final year of eligibility without having to sit out a year like transfers have had to do in the past. So basically, a fifth year senior can transfer to the school of their choice for their final year and play right away.

The NCAA is trying to say this will benefit the student athlete by allowing them to start graduate school right away without having to delay a year and take unnecessary courses. College coaches, at least those that have even read the rule, are rightfully upset with this new legislation.
This rule would be a disaster for college sports. Imagine your a school from one of the smaller conferences and you've been grooming your star player for four years. You've paid for his education and his room and board. You have organized your recruiting the past four years counting on him being your starter going into next season. Then a big time program comes in and scoops him up to give their freshman recruit another year to develop. Or worse yet, imagine a conference rival plucking talent from your team. Imagine the Michigans and Ohio States raiding the Illinois and Indiana's, taking their best players, their team leaders, and wisking them away with promises of playing in a bowl game their senior year. Compared with playing out another losing year with no bowl game and nothing to play for the temptation may be too much to resist.

The NCAA needs to kill this rule fast. College coaches and presidents are pushing to override the rule. Hopefully they will be successful.

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