ESPN’s Mark Lewis has some good commentary on the current transfer mania that is plaguing college basketball. Ironically, today Oregon State lost yet another player, as Eisha Sheppard says she wants to be closer to home.
Lewis makes his first great point in this:
There was a time years ago when transferring was an emotional and difficult step to take. It was viewed as an absolute last resort taken only after exhausting every avenue to resolve whatever difficulty the athlete was facing. At the same time, other schools were skeptical about taking transfers and not so quick to provide the open arms that seem to waiting for them at the drop of a hat today. There’s no incentive to go the extra mile to make things work. In the first program I worked at we actually made a transfer pay her way the first year to prove that she was serious and wanted to be there. That approach now would pretty much eliminate any school from the transfer derby.
And he suggests making it more difficult to transfer:
The reality is that it’s too easy and far too acceptable to transfer. I’m not advocating a “Scarlet T” but if the implications or the avenue to changing schools were more difficult then greater detail and attention might be paid to the recruiting decisions on the front end. Make them pay for the year they have to sit out or take away a year of eligibility. Those may be farfetched concepts, but something should be done to raise the bar.
Somewhere along the line the “privilege” of playing the game became a “right”. When that happened the opportunity to play college basketball and the responsibility that goes with it lost something and the floodgates opened.
I can’t believe no one’s thought of that before – making the athlete pay for the year she has to sit out. I sure wouldn’t pay for it, if I were the school. The NCAA needs to make some changes to its transfer rules, and the sooner the better.
Meanwhile, some of those freshmen who are not running away from their teams have been named to Full Court Press’ freshmen All-American Honors Team.