Wednesday, September 14, 2005

No Transfer Rule is the Right Rule

I think in a lot of ways the NCAA does a lot of things wrong, but I have to back them on this one.

AP - Division I basketball and football players from schools closed by Hurricane Katrina will still have to sit out for a year if they transfer to one of the many colleges that have offered admission, NCAA president Myles Brand said Tuesday.
The NCAA said last month that it would bend some rules to help students and schools deal with the hurricane, including letting students compete without attending classes.

But during an appearance at the University of Rhode Island, Brand said the only rule the NCAA would not bend was the one that requires Division I basketball, football and hockey players to sit a one year if they transfer to another Division I school.

In other sports, Division I athletes can transfer and play immediately at another Division I school if they receive a release from the original university.

I know what you are thinking, “My campus is underwater and I’m not for sure if I will get to have a home game again before I graduate, why shouldn’t I be able to transfer without penalty?”

Here is the reason this is the right thing by the NCAA. What keeps Rice, TCU, Houston or any other school from taking an entire football squad? Brand addressed this as athletic looting. Allowing student athletes to transfer without penalty would be the kiss of death on athletic programs already struggling with the decision of how to start over. They simply wouldn’t be able to.

Some coaches at hurricane-affected schools in and around New Orleans had complained to the NCAA that coaches at other schools had tried to raid their teams and recruit their players, NCAA spokesman Wally Renfro said.

The NCAA has eased some other rules, including those prohibiting athletes from taking financial assistance from outside sources, and those that require students to be enrolled full-time at their college and university.

The hurricane has already done enough damage to these programs and the NCAA is trying to prevent them from receiving even more. Very seldom do I applaud the NCAA and say they did the right thing, but it seems to me as if they have in this case.