The NCAA is a mean and evil building resting at 700 West Washington Street, Indianapolis, Indiana(Send your hate mail there). For those who don’t know, the NCAA was actually formed to “protect” student-athletes from reckless university behaviors and help sanction, mostly football due to deaths at the time, player safety. However, the governing body of collegiate sports has spent most of its time laying the hammer down and suspending the student-athletes for some strange rules they have set out under a misguided use of power.
Maybe, and this is a big maybe, the new transfer model they have been working on will be a refreshing step in the right direction for the NCAA. There are a few pretty big changes as far as transferring that have been included in the proposed model. Here are some of the ideas the NCAA has kicked around(credit for the summary goes to athleticscholarships.net).
Athletes would still need to get permission to contact another school before transferring. But permission would be tied to practice and competition, not athletics aid. So even if permission was denied, the student-athlete would still be able to receive a scholarship.
Athletes who qualify for the transfer exemption in the APR would be permitted to play immediately at the new school. That would make a 2.600 GPA the magic number to play immediately.
Athletes who do not qualify to play immediately at the next school would still receive an extension of their five-year clock so they can use all their eligibility.
Tampering with an athlete by another school would be considered a severe breach of conduct, a Level I violation, the highest in the NCAA’s new enforcement structure.
The Leadership Council will be taking another look at the new model come January and will have to have a final vote on it come August of this year. If approved, the model will be introduced the following August.
I’m actually in favor of the NCAA trying to be proactive and go back to their original purpose, helping student-athletes. I’m sure universities and coaches will have a fairly strong push-back to the notion of giving away some of their power. Especially the coaches, who like to play everything close to the vest and treat the student-athletes like stocks and bonds. Letting them have the right to transfer with little penalty, but in some cases none, would take much of the power away from the “Leaders of men.”
But don’t take this proposal the NCAA has put forth the wrong way. This isn’t them doing something out of the goodness of their hearts. No sir, they really enjoy (over) regulating college sports to the point where the rules contradict each other. Another point that needs to be brought up is the groundswell of blogs and media members who are slowly starting to suggest the NCAA is no longer needed.
I, like many others, have pointed out in the past that successful in sports universities could ban together and form their own governing body. While the student-athletes to all the hard work on the field or court, the universities do all the work of getting the athletes together, the NCAA just keeps hammering down on both while getting a piece of the pie. They don’t exactly have any “right” to any of it considering they do the least to achieve any monetary rewards. There is no reason that big universities or conferences for that matter, couldn’t succeed from the NCAA and keep a larger piece of the pie.
However, it’s worth pointing out that the NCAA’s proposal comes with some negative side effects. With the “less” penalties directed at student-athlete transfers, the door swings open for a free-agency feel towards amateur-athletes. This could easily leave many smaller programs left holding an empty roster spot once held by one of their best players.
This proposal is a mixed bag. There is a lot of good that could come out of it as well as some bad. But I must admit, considering I’m an NCAA basher, at least they are taking steps on working towards a better way to treat student-athletes.
My worry is, that their heart isn’t in the right place, it’s just their pocketbooks(as usual) they are worried about.
Joe covers the Catholic Seven for Rant Sports. For the love of Sam Cassell follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone