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The NCAA could make it harder on graduate transfers

Just as Kentucky picked up a player from the graduate transfer market for a second straight offseason, we learn the NCAA may soon put restrictions on graduate transfers.

A new story in The New York Times says the NCAA will vote on whether or not to implement a new rule change that could penalize programs in men’s basketball, women’s basketball and football for taking in a grad transfer. The rule would take away a scholarship if a graduate transfer did not earn a secondary degree within one year:

In two weeks, the N.C.A.A.’s primary legislative body, the Division I Council, will vote on a measure that could severely restrict graduate transfers. The proposed rule change would require that colleges accepting graduate transfers be docked a scholarship the next year if the transfer does not earn his secondary degree within a year.

So as graduate transfers have continued to increase — there were 124 this season in men’s basketball, according to the website GradTransferTracker, including a handful who were key contributors on N.C.A.A. tournament teams — and as programs have found value in them as a quick fix that suits both team and player, the new rule is seeking to discourage them by effectively adding a tax on programs that accept such players. [The New York Times]

Of course this story comes out on the day Kentucky adds Nate Sestina, a graduate transfer from Bucknell, after benefiting from one year with Reid Travis, a graduate transfer out of Stanford. This weekend Texas Tech will chase the national title with two graduate transfers, Matt Mooney and Tariq Owens, in its starting lineup.

For what it’s worth, the story includes a 2016 quote from Coach Cal, saying, “If the kid gets his grad degree in one year, fine; if he doesn’t, you’ve got to use the scholarship for two years.”

The new rule would really only impact men’s basketball, and it would mean grad transfers better be completing that grad degree in one year.

[NYT: N.C.A.A. Clock May Be Running Out on Graduate Transfers]

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

36 Comments for The NCAA could make it harder on graduate transfers

  1. Mad Max
    5:06 pm April 4, 2019 Permalink

    Don’t worry. If Duke signs one, NCAA will say it is a brilliant move and K is an innovator…

    • nocode96
      5:42 pm April 4, 2019 Permalink


    • J. Did
      7:29 pm April 4, 2019 Permalink

      Many moons ago, when I was in school, my Property Professor used to enjoy stating the phrase (which was a book): The Law is an Ass.

      Which continues to, as always, remind me of the NCAA – and their ‘laws’.

      Ridiculous; flaws.

      This is a smokescreen.

      The NCAA has many other more PROFOUND issues to address than nipping this ‘problem’ in the couple-of-year-old bud.

  2. bwise
    5:08 pm April 4, 2019 Permalink

    Title 9!!!! Title 9!!!!! Equality!

  3. eddiesuttonsliver
    5:12 pm April 4, 2019 Permalink

    “Nice little game you got here. It’d be a shame if someone……ruined it.” ~ the NCAA

  4. BBNDan7
    5:13 pm April 4, 2019 Permalink

    *kentucky uses two grad transfers*
    NCAA: “hey here’s a new rule on grad transfers…”

  5. IrishCat
    5:13 pm April 4, 2019 Permalink

    Sure. Penalize kids who put on the work to graduate and happen to be athletes w/ other opportunities as well. That’s the NCAA for ya.

    • Soylentbeans
      6:03 pm April 4, 2019 Permalink

      I dont like it either but it actually doesnt hurt the player just the school.

    • wes720
      6:24 pm April 4, 2019 Permalink

      It does hurt the player if it limits the schools that will take them.

    • Soylentbeans
      7:27 pm April 4, 2019 Permalink

      Fair point I didnt think about it like that.

    • IrishCat
      9:34 pm April 4, 2019 Permalink

      It absolutely hurts players, it senselessly limits opportunities. At its best, College is about creating opportunities.

    • Tipa
      9:30 am April 5, 2019 Permalink

      Also it limits what schools and degrees students can come in for. Some graduate degrees are multiple year programs. If an athlete is interested in a multi-year program some schools may be forced to restrict the grad transfer to 1-year programs only which is dumb.

  6. Rixter
    5:13 pm April 4, 2019 Permalink

    That sounds about right, given the NCAA’s propensity to make things as hard as possible on student-athletes.

  7. ClutchCargo
    5:27 pm April 4, 2019 Permalink

    So, we just create fake classes for them and a few regular graduate students to take, then we’re golden. Your move, NCAA!

    • nocode96
      5:43 pm April 4, 2019 Permalink

      It’s almost too easy.

    • Soylentbeans
      6:04 pm April 4, 2019 Permalink

      I feel like I’ve seen something similar to this before. I just cant place it.

    • dctawk
      7:14 pm April 4, 2019 Permalink

      Hmmmm…. Nick Nolte???

    • J. Did
      8:19 pm April 4, 2019 Permalink

      And ensure that Deputy Dawg has a few highly publicized ‘vertigo’ spells in order to garner sympathy – for the devil.

  8. kentuckybackupplayer
    5:32 pm April 4, 2019 Permalink

    From the institution that used to starve the athletes with meal restrictions comes a proposal to do whatever they can to stick it to the kids.

  9. TheBIGGeez
    5:37 pm April 4, 2019 Permalink

    Let’s make sure to give every opportunity to student athletes to graduate that may not, then make it harder for those student athletes who actually do what they were supposed to do and graduate…. got it, makes sense

  10. runningunnin.454
    6:03 pm April 4, 2019 Permalink


    • runningunnin.454
      6:06 pm April 4, 2019 Permalink

      That is to say, Ha ha. THE Naturally Corrupt A$$hole Association.
      So predictable, and rotten to the core.

  11. Soylentbeans
    6:09 pm April 4, 2019 Permalink

    It wont hurt the student athletes just the schools they go to and only if they dont get a second degree in that year. The article has a statement from cal saying this should be the rule. Regardless of if he believes it now he still said it. So at some point he supported this and if they change he will.have to live with it. All that being said I think it’s stupid and seeing as how we give lifetime scholarships it shouldn’t matter if it takes more than a year.

    • mikeintn
      6:34 pm April 4, 2019 Permalink

      A second degree in a year? UNC said no problem!

    • Soylentbeans
      7:31 pm April 4, 2019 Permalink

      I wonder how many real credit hours you would have to take to get a second degree in 1 year.

    • mashburnfan1
      10:50 pm April 4, 2019 Permalink

      Soy…part of this from Cal may have been when he was upset because a kid did the transfer from a team a friend {former player or asst.} of his coached. That team went on to have a bad year and the coach was fired and Cal blasted the Grad transfer rule. Of course now that it may benefit him he is all good, the heck with Stanford and Bucknell, he must not know those coaches.

  12. onthefritz76
    6:14 pm April 4, 2019 Permalink

    What kind of grad degree gets finished in one year?

    • dctawk
      7:17 pm April 4, 2019 Permalink

      Geographical studies. Like…. From the car to the gym.

    • J. Did
      8:25 pm April 4, 2019 Permalink

      Who got their graduate degree…went through the ceremony?

      True story.

      Buddy of mine – flunked out of engineering – came back after the obligatory ‘year off’.

      Uavel’s Dental school came ‘mining’ students.

      My Buddy signed up – on the spot.

      Kinda graduated right there.

      No- he did.

  13. USMC Cat
    6:15 pm April 4, 2019 Permalink

    The NCAA is an absolute joke.

  14. Swizzle
    6:44 pm April 4, 2019 Permalink

    Bet it doesnt apply to UNC

  15. dane82
    11:08 pm April 4, 2019 Permalink

    If the NCAA doesn’t stop this kind of nonsense I’ll have no choice but to continue to devote enormous amounts of my time and money to their product.