Critical Coaches: Changing the transfer culture

By Eye on College Basketball staff | CBSSports.com
The majority of coaches believe the number of players jumping teams has gotten too high. (US Presswire)

CBSSports.com's college basketball quartet spent the July open recruiting period hobnobbing with nearly 100 coaches, brain-picking them on some of college basketball's current issues. From the best players to their comrades in coaching; from the AAU programs to the agents' involvement; from the rule changes to the NCAA as a whole. We had to promise them anonymity, and in exchange, they gave us honest answers. Through Aug. 24 on the blog, we'll be putting out one question per weekday and giving you the array of results, straight from the coaches' mouths.

Every few months, there's a new NCAA discussion point amongst the basketball world, ranging from agents and academics to recruiting and cheating. College coaches have sounded off on the one NCAA rule they would change, but what about NCAA issues? The NCAA has gotten a few things right lately, including the increased contact between coaches and recruits, and the earlier opportunities for recruits to take visits. The recruiting calendar change had mixed reviews, but there were certainly some positives. Suspending four AAU programs for agent affiliation from the month of July was another big move by the NCAA. Of course, though, there are still problems – and coaches were not afraid to talk about them.

The question is: What would you do to change the transfer culture?

  • Eliminate all waivers: 42 percent
  • No need to change anything; leave it the way it is: 10 percent
  • Kids need to sit out a year unless the coach leaves or is fired: 10 percent
  • More transparent recruiting rules: 8 percent
  • Make national letters of intent multi-year so kids won't be run off by coaches: 6 percent
  • Reduce number of scholarships from 13 to 11: 6 percent
  • Increase number of evaluation days: 4 percent
  • No restrictions at all for kids transferring: 4 percent
  • No mid-year transfers: 4 percent

Quotes that stuck:

"Add 200 minutes to every game, implement a rule where every kid has to take 10 shots, allows every AAU coach or mentor to draw up eight plays for their kid -- and kids can't text or receive texts from their advisors/AAU coaches/mentors for up to 12 hours after every game."

More Critical Coaches
Questions

"You can't change it. Who cares if a kid leaves. All the parameters are in place to prevent mass exoduses. Treat kids right and recruit who you want. Kids that can't play will figure out what's best."

"All kids sit one year no matter what. Unless they graduate, keep that. Other than that, treat kids better, don't lie to them and accept the fact that kids transfer these days."

"It's so out of control the only way to slow or change it is that every transfer MUST sit one year. No exceptions. They have created way too much precedent on every transfer scenario. Way too much gray area has been exposed and taken advantage of recently."

"The graduation transfer rule needs to change. Schools can get hurt by redshirting a kid, developing him and then a higher-level school grabs him for his final season. Some schools are literally scanning for mid-major players who have graduated and have a year left. It's just not right."

"Reduce the number of scholarships down from 13 and there will be less kids leaving. Too much instant gratification these days to keep 13 kids happy when you can only play five at a time."

Takeaway (by Jeff Goodman):

Transferring has become an epidemic. I keep hearing that and while I'm not quite certain I'd go that far, it's certainly turned into a hot-button topic. Since I started compiling the transfer list a few years ago, the numbers have certainly increased -- and for a variety of reasons.

Kids want instant gratification. If they aren't happy with their playing time or overall situation, the initial instinct is to bolt and go elsewhere. It's not just bound to college basketball players; it's an issue in the high school ranks and isn't limited to athletics, either. It's become a societal problem.

But we're talking about college hoops here -- and what can be done to help alleviate the problem. There has been a rash of waivers given to kids over the last few years, seemingly since Tyler Smith transferred back home to Tennessee so his ailing father could see him play.

Now it's become commonplace for a kid to transfer closer to home and get a waiver due to a family member who has some sort of medical condition. Kids have clearly taken advantage of the rule -- and the NCAA has become lenient in many cases, unable to identify the legitimacy of the health issues.

Here's my suggestion: If a kid wants to go elsewhere, whether it be due to a lack of playing time or to be close to a family member in need, they should sit out a year. A player can truly help a family member by focusing their time on them -- and not basketball.

Sure, there are other reasons why kids transfer: When coaches are fired, when they depart for other jobs, when coaches basically force them out by telling them they aren't talented enough to play.

If that's the case, I still say to keep it a steadfast rule: You leave, you sit a year. No matter what. What's the worst thing? That a student-athlete is able to use that extra year and work towards a graduate degree -- for free.

That doesn't sound so bad to me.

It won't eliminate the transfers, but what it will do is control the overall situation. No more fifth-year grad transfers playing immediately. They, too, need to sit a year and then they should be allowed to finish their final year elsewhere.

Make everyone sit and there won't be 500-plus basketball players scurrying to new destinations as was the case this past year.

Coming Wednesday: What player do you feel had the shadiest recruitment?

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