A proposal to require graduate transfers to count against a team’s scholarship total for two years in football and basketball has been rejected by the NCAA.
The Division I Council on Friday voted down a proposal that could have tapped the brakes on the de facto free agency created by a rule originally intended to give athletes more freedom to pursue graduate degrees.
NCAA rules require football and basketball players to sit out a season after transferring, but those who complete a degree are permitted to transfer and play immediately. The proposed change would have locked schools into a two-year scholarship commitment.
An exception would have been made if the athlete completed degree requirements before the second season. Part of the pushback on the grad transfer rule centers on athletes who don’t finish those degrees while taking up roster spots that could go to others. Still, coaches have generally been supportive of giving graduate transfers the freedom that comes with immediate eligibility.
Stanford football coach David Shaw said he was uncomfortable with the idea of essentially sanctioning schools for bringing in grad transfers, but suggested a way to avoid athletes having to enter a graduate level program that they are not likely to finish.
“The conversation that we may start having is to say, ‘If you’re a grad transfer and can you go transfer to someplace else and continue an undergraduate focus?’ As opposed to it having to be a graduate focus,” Shaw said. “You don’t have the farce of saying, ‘Yeah, I’m a grad student.’ But not really.
“You’re coming here to take some undergraduate courses. You still need to be academically eligible. You still need to be in a proper number of units. You still need to finish in good standing to be eligible to play in bowl games. We’re still putting those academic constraints on you.”
Briefly: St. John’s hired Mike Anderson to succeed Chris Mullin as its men’s basketball coach. Anderson was fired by Arkansas last month after eight seasons. … Michigan State All-America guard Cassius Winston said he will return for his senior season, but Spartans forward Nick Ward said he will forgo his senior season to enter the NBA draft. … Iowa forward Megan Gustafson, whose 27.8 points per game led Division I players, won the Honda Sports Award as the top women’s basketball player.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/collegesports/article/Plan-to-require-grad-transfers-to-count-against-13781897.php.