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Carolina’s Martin Not Worried About Transfers

Readers of this site know that this particular writer believes one reason college basketball is falling farther and farther behind college football in terms of popularity is the game’s transient nature.  Whether it’s schools like Kentucky who bring in a fresh batch of one-and-doners every year — how long before every NBA roster is made up of just UK kids, by the way? — or the growing number of transfers from one school to another, it’s becoming harder and harder for fans to connect with the players on Hometown U’s roster.

Yesterday, the fact that nearly 450 Division I players have transferred in the past year was clearly an issue for most of the basketball coaches taking part in the SEC’s teleconference.

Vanderbilt’s Kevin Stallings laid the blame on society’s need — and therefore players’ need — for “instant gratification.”  Florida’s Billy Donovan blamed NCAA restrictions that kept coaches and players from getting to know each other better before signing day.

Auburn’s Tony Barbee added, “It’s obvious there’s too many (transfers).  I think all of the coaches would agree.”

But according to Kevin Brockway of The Gainesville Sun, new South Carolina coach Frank Martin does not agree:


“Too many people are making too big of a deal on transfers at the Division I level.  Kids are transferring three or four times in high school, it’s not like they are going to get to college and all of the sudden have an epiphany and decide to do things differently…

Transferring doesn’t make anyone a failure.  It doesn’t mean the program is a failure, it doesn’t mean the young man is a failure.

If something is not right, if the young man is not happy, it’s going to be hard for everyone to coexist and it’s going to be healthy for the young man and the program to part ways. There is nothing more important in this business than the success of the young people, and if they are not having success they should have the right to transfer. As long as things are being done the right way, they should be allowed to transfer.”


From the looks of him, I wouldn’t expect Martin to be much of a softie, but I have to congratulate him on his view.  While discussing 10 ways to improve college football back in May, I made it clear that as long as a player is in good academic standing and protecting his current school’s APR score, then he should be allowed to transfer without penalty or delay.  It’s about doing what’s right for the athlete.

But what’s best for the athlete might not be what’s best for the sport of college basketball as a whole.  I tend to side with the teenager over the millionaire coach, the multi-million dollar program, and multi-multi-million dollar industry whenever such a case arises.  In this case, however, doing what’s right by the player only makes the game even more transient.  And that is an issue the NCAA and the powers-that-be in college basketball will eventually have to tackle if they don’t want to become a tournament-only sport… which we’re fast approaching already.

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SEC Headlines – 6/26/12

1.  The SEC’s basketball coaches weighed in on all manner of topics during a summer teleconference yesterday.

2. Here’s a prospect-by-prospect breakdown of many of the nation’s NBA draft hopefuls — including those from the SEC, of course — by a number of NBA scouts.

3.  The SEC and Big 12 reportedly wanted the new playoff played outside the existing bowl structure. (No doubt so they could bit out their own “Champions” Bowl — as we suggested — as a semifinal game each season.)

4.  Beware of buying tickets on Craigslist, folks.

5.  Toss Barry Switzer’s name onto the list of coaches angling for a spot on the new selection committee.

6.  Anthony Grant says one was enough for his 2012 signing class at Alabama.

7.  Auburn’s Tony Barbee loves the extra time he can spend with players in the summer thanks to an NCAA rule change.

8. Arkansas has spent a lot of cash for arguably the eighth-best signing classes in the SEC the last two years.  (Of course, Bobby Petrino’s system allowed him to win without five-stars at every positition.)

9.  Johnny O’Bryant and Anthony Hickey will be key to LSU’s basketball success.

10.  New MSU coach Rick Ray will hope three-point shooting can make up for a lack of experience.

11.  Andy Kennedy wants to see more consistency from his Ole Miss squad this winter.

12.  Texas A&M big man Kourtney Roberson’s rehab from a broken ankle is “a slow process.”

13.  The Aggie administration is preparing a ceremonial SEC flag-raising for their official entry into the league on Monday.

14.  Georgia assistant John Lilly hasn’t forgotten the two long punt returns LSU used to whip the Dawgs in the SEC Championship Game.

15.  This writer says that if Georgia doesn’t become a factor in the new playoff, Mark Richt will be remembered as “a coach who was good enough to stick around a long time — but not quite great.”

16.  Guess what.  Kentucky will be led by freshmen again this year on the basketball court.

17.  The coaches of two of UK’s oldest rivals — Vanderbilt and Tennessee — aren’t thrilled to be losing the Cats on a home-and-home basis under the SEC’s shortsighted, brain-achingly stupid, new scheduling format.

18.  A little baseball salute to South Carolina who saw their push for a third-straight College World Series title come up shot last night.  Sa-lute.  It was a heckuva run.  (And now maybe someone in the Palmetto State will start talking about football.)

19.  Frank Martin’s arrival in Columbia could be troublesome for Cuonzo Martin in Knoxville.

20.  Mercurial Tennessee receiver Da’Rick Rogers is The Gainesville Sun’s #21 player in the SEC.

21.  Ex-Vandy star and longtime NBA’er Will Perdue expects Festus Ezeli to have a long pro career, too.

22.  Ex-Commodore Jeffery Taylor has his mind on Thursday’s NBA draft, too.

23.  Missouri is looking at making $72 million worth of athletic facility improvements.  (Welcome to the SEC.)

24.  The Tigers’ Frank Haith likes the NCAA’s new, more liberal texting policy.

25.  When it comes to today’s playoff discussion, the presidents are expected to be more of a speed bump than a road block.

26.  Here’s a look at what you can expect from today’s meeting.

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SEC Headlines – 1/11/12 Part One

A few quickie headlines for you…

1.  Nick Saban says he might’ve enjoyed this title more than his last.

2.  Let the dynasty talk begin in Tuscaloosa.

3.  Alabama will face LSU again tonight… in basketball.

4.  Crushed by Vandy and facing Kentucky tonight, Auburn’s Tony Barbee is staying positive.

5.  Tiger running back Onterio McCalebb will indeed return next season.

6.  New defensive coordinator — and home run hire — Brian VanGorder will be introduced today.

7.  Knile Davis makes his return to Arkansas official. 

8.  Les Miles says he didn’t see the loss to Alabama coming.

9.  LSU’s ground game got ground up by the Tide defense.

10.  Ole Miss needs to turn things around at home against Arkansas tonight.

11.  Looking ahead, there are reasons for optimism and concern with the Mississippi State football program.

12.  MSU AD Scott Stricklin talks success, Dan Mullen’s outside opportunities and the Bulldogs’ chances of winning a football title.

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