“Another Outrage” Concerning NCAA Transfer Rules

In what ESPN’s Mike Greenberg described as “another outrage in the NCAA,” Florida International University (FIU) has denied basketball player Dominque Ferguson permission to contact other schools regarding a potential transfer.  Ferguson reportedly appealed the denial, but his appeal was unsuccessful

Ferguson sought to leave FIU for a number of reasons, including the departure of his coach, Isiah Thomas.  Although the NCAA and colleges cling to the notion that student-athletes choose a school, not a coach, that is not realistic.  Coaches come and go, and schools should allow student-athletes the same freedom.  After all, it is the players, and typically not the coaches, who are operating under one-year contracts.

In a post entitled “Advocating Change of NCAA Transfer Rules“, I wrote as follows:

For undergraduates in baseball, basketball, football, and men’s ice hockey, the rule requiring student-athletes to spend a “year in residence” (sit out) after a transfer before being eligible is sufficient to prevent student-athletes from transferring without careful consideration.  Moreover, a student-athlete has a short window to compete – typically 5 years to play 4 seasons.  Why allow coaches and administrators, whose careers are unlimited in length, make decisions that affect the brief career of student-athletes, especially when those are driven by disputes (see Randy Edsall and Vanderbilt) that have nothing to do with the student-athlete?  

Warren Zola also published an excellent piece on this topic, entitled “I’m Begging you for Mercy”.

For more on NCAA transfer rules, see these Connecticut Sports Law articles:

NCAA Denies Todd O’Brien’s Appeal; Reform Necessary

Kansas Accepts Transfer QBs but Refuses to Release Berglund

SMU’s June Jones Treats Transfers Right

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