The one-time transfer rule is coming to the NCAA.
There’s no stopping it, so college coaches — specifically college football coaches — need to accept it.
Fighting it will only give coaches a black eye when it comes to recruiting.
Auburn Tigers head coach Gus Malzahn is one of the coaches who is in strong opposition to the potential new rule.
Malzahn’s recent comments to ESPN were completely unnecessary and make him look petty.
“I see why some would justify it when you see coaches changing all the time, especially after signing day, but that’s part of what you’ve got to deal with. I don’t agree with it, but that’s where we are and where a lot of the argument comes from for having open transfers. We’ll have to also re-recruit our own players. There will be a lot of challenges, and coaches will have to rethink how they manage their roster.”
“That’s part of what you’ve got to deal with” is a comment that is completely dismissive of student athletes. That comes across as Malzahn wanting to come and go as he pleases, while leaving an unpaid student athlete stuck with a coach they didn’t pick.
And the re-recruiting part? That’s just as bad. If coaches are honest through the recruiting process, they don’t have to worry about re-recruiting players. If a player wants to go elsewhere, let them. It’s probably because of a legitimate reason. Lack of playing time, coaching change, family situation or maybe they were lied to during the recruiting process.
Not every coach has the same view as Malzahn. Tennessee Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt, for example, has attempted to be helpful to players wishing to transfer away from UT.
Pruitt wrote a letter last summer to the NCAA in support of Marquill Osborne gaining immediate eligibility.
CB Marquill Osborne was granted immediate eligibility at Charlotte.
Jeremy Pruitt wrote a letter to the NCAA supporting his case. Pruitt said not to quote him on Osborne’s eligibility so I double checked. Pruitt was right.
— David Ubben (@davidubben) August 23, 2019
There haven’t been any reported instances of Pruitt attempting to block a transfer, either.
This is likely because of two reasons:
- Pruitt truly wants the best for student athletes.
- Pruitt understands that not embracing transfers will only hurt him in recruiting.
You can say what you want about Pruitt as a head coach, but he’s on the right side of the transfer rule.
And really, I can’t think of a reason why any coach would be against this.
I seriously doubt it’s going to turn into the NCAA’s version of free agency, as many coaches fear it will. There are still only so many players a program can take. And Power-5 programs aren’t going to be using most of their slots on depth players from smaller schools.
Sure, there will be some players that perform better than expected at lower-tier schools that transfer to Power-5 programs. But for the most part, I think we’ll see programs reserve those spots for their recruiting classes.
Malzahn looks foolish on this one. He could learn a thing or two from Pruitt.
Featured image via Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports