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UF’s Muschamp Does Right By Transferring Gator

Last week it was learned that true freshman Florida linebacker Graham Stewart planned to transfer.  Will Muschamp put no restrictions or limitations on the kid’s options and Stewart — a Connecticut native — has decided to play at UConn instead of for the Gators.  Florida’s coach plans on taking an extra step for Stewart as well:

 

“I’m going to petition the NCAA for him to be eligible immediately.  He’s a great kid.  A family situation occurs like that and you’re so far from home, you deserve to have that opportunity and not have any penalty for it.”

 

Muschamp said last week that Stewart told him “he wanted to leave to get closer to home due to some personal issues.”

Kudos to Florida’s coach for showing some heart.  Whether it’s Mark Richt’s open door policy for transfers or John Calipari’s desire to push his players to the pros as soon as possible, these types of stances have to help coaches on the recruiting trail.

Too bad more coaches don’t realize that.

 


9 comments
scottlester
scottlester

Wow it is amazing how all these coaches have suddenly gotten a heart.  Call me cynical but I think that most of these decisions are motivated by the fear of looking bad like Dooley rather than any real change of heart.  I do not have a problem with a coach restricting a kid from transfering to any school on the schedule during the remainder of the player's eligibility and personally I think this should be negotible under extreme curcumstances.  

 

While I think Dooley was excessive in his transfer policy, most of the transfer examples that people have used to bad mouth Dooley have been moves that have very little possibility of effecting the school in the near future.  

Richt let a kid go to a school not a GA schedule

Sabin let Sims to UVA which is not on their schedule

Sabin lets kid go to GA State who is on their schedule but AL would still beat even with the kid

Kid transfers from NC State to Vandy who don't play each other.

 

It is one thing to let a second string player openly transfer, let a star player transfer to another power school outside the conference and not on your schedule or transfer to a much weaker school who you can still beat.  Lets see how these coaches react when a real impact player wants to transfer from say GA to TN or AL to LSU.  If said coaches are as quick to grant that transfer then I will believe that coaches have had a true change of heart and not just trying to spin some PR.

OldArmy
OldArmy

Well Mr Pennington, I am going to take the high road on this one and agree with you it makes good recruiting sense because it is gentlemanly conduct. I remember the story of Bear Bryant going to recruit one of the first black players for Alabama. The young man's mother gave him a what for peculiar to that spectacular  breed of human creation known as the Southern mother, asking why she should give him the responsibility for her son when only a couple of years before he said he did not want to recruit blacks. Bryant took it, and answered that no matter where the young man went, that he was wrong and would do whatever it took to make it right to her and her son.

 

According to the article, she believed him, because no matter what their differences were, he was a gentleman and had always conducted himself as such. 

 

Good for Muschamp, good for Florida, good for Stewart...... and for Dooley...... well not so sure the mom's of the world will compare him as favorably with Muschamp, Calipari and Richt. Who would you want your son to play for?

poooooookss
poooooookss

With this and Richt and Saban letting Sims go to UVA, Dooley is looking even more like an ass for all the restrictions he puts on his players who are trying to get out of there.

poooooookss
poooooookss

With this and Richt and Saban letting Sims go to UVA, Dooley is looking even more like an ass for all the restrictions he puts on his players who are trying to get out of there.

OldArmy
OldArmy

 @scottlester Personally, I think the rules on transfers within the NCAA are archaic (at best) and anti student at worst.

 

Universitie that recruit students have the mission statement of benefiting the student. The first thing they do is put in place severe restrictions on the student's freedoms. Yep its a contract, and the guys are of legal age when they sign it, yep to remove restrictions on transfers would cause problems for the coach and the adminstration, and yep it would alter the behavior of coaches (ya think poaching would increase?).  The university however is supposed to have a higher sense of duty to their student than a corporation has with its employees (pro ball). Universities, abetted by the NCAA, have taken an approach to transfers that transgresses on their mission statement and their historical obligation to the entity known as "student."

 

So, even if "its amazing" the coaches found a heart when a "non-competitor" was involved, its still a good start, its still a good example and it is still the right thing to do.

Geoff McDorms
Geoff McDorms

 @poooooookss Yeah, Saban's supposed to be this impersonal hardass, but he's let players transfer.  QB Star Jackson went to Georgia State, which was on Bama's schedule that year.

 

As for Dooley, it doesn't matter what he does.  He's a joke who'll be gone before Christmas.  In fact, the 2012 Christmas present to UT fans will be firing Dooley.  That is, if he makes it to the end of the season.  I see Sal Sunseri as HC before the end of the year.

scottlester
scottlester

 @OldArmy I agree that many of the rules seem anti student.  For example having to sit out a year if you transfer to another D1 school seems wrong to me.  Coaches should be able to impose minimal restrictions on an athlete's transfer to another school to protect the school's competitive balance.  Students need to know that decisions have consequences and should be as sure as possible that the school they choose is where they want to play.  Students who decide or have to transfer should be allowed to without an undue burden on them.

 

Limited transfer rules do look out for the student.  Poaching and the wholesale "free agency" that would accompany each signing period could result in students bouncing around from school to school and finishing their eligibilty nowhere near completing a degree.  Current transfer rules for the most part keeps a student at a school working towards a degree while they are there.  My problem is that coaches abuse these rules and use them to force student to stay when they wanted to leave.  I believe that Dooley was abusing the transfer rules by applying them in a punitive way.   

 

The best compromise would be to allow coaches to place limited restrictions on transfers (no transfer to a school on our schedule during the player's eligibilty period) if they want to and do away with having to sit out a year if you do transfer.

 

I do agree that the actions by these coaches are a step in the right direction, a good start and the right thing to do.  I also hope that it leads to more reasonable application of transfer rules.  However, until a big time coach lets a big time player go to a direct big time competitor then I see this as nothing more than PR spin for the recruiting trail but I hope I am wrong.

 

Thanks for your commits.

OldArmy
OldArmy

 @Geoff McDorms  @poooooookss Geoff, for Dooley to get the axe, will UT will have to do sub par this year, or just not live up to expectations? Got three coaches in the SEC I'm sort of not partial to, and he is one of them (sorry any of you Vols out there who are offended, its just..... hes' not my idea of..... well, you know). Just curious.

OldArmy
OldArmy

 @scottlester I certainly cannot argue that your more cynical, if that is the right word, opinion of the methodology and practice of coaches at D1 schools, which is why I posted in agreement of John's stance. It's important to voice criticism, and praise, sometimes.

 

 

The solution actually would have to take into account the perception, or the reality, that coaches are going to act, most of the time, in their self interest, within the rules they have to play by. So, I would suggest the solution is not the coaches establishing rules that protect the student, its gotta be a rule change by the NCAA.Not as easy as it sounds, as universities have varying academic rules for transfer, etc. But "if Muschamp has to do it, Myers has to" universal application would require coaches, AD's, Presidents, boards of governors, etc, have to see the need. (I'm not holding my breath)

 



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