The NCAA recently announced two new rules that will help change the college football landscape.
Beginning in October, Division I athletes can transfer to a new school and receive a scholarship without having to get it approved by their current school.
This is a huge step in the right direction. Last year, Kansas State blocked the transfer of wide receiver Corey Sutton. Sutton submitted to 35 schools that were not on K-State’s schedule for the next few years, but the team wouldn’t release his scholarship. Eventually, Sutton was granted his release and eventually transferred to Appalachian State.
Conferences can still block athletes from transferring within the league, but now a player who wants to transfer will inform their coach. The coach will have two days to enter it into a database operated by the NCAA. The database will alert schools that a player is transferring and can be recruited.
It is not a perfect compromise, but this new rule should allow more transparency, which is good for everyone involved.
When Sutton’s request was being blocked last year, K-State coach Bill Synder explained why he rejected the transfer.
“If you’re a No. 2 (second team) you probably want to be a No. 1, and if you have the option to leave and you have 22 No. 2s on your team leaving, you don’t have much a team left,” Snyder said last year at a K-State alumni function.
Sure, you could see more players want to transfer to have a better shot at playing, but that also means that it would be happening elsewhere so K-State could replace the players with someone doing the same thing from schools across the country.
The other new rule will also have a huge impact on the game. Starting this season, football players in both subdivisions of Division I can play in up to four games without losing a season of competition.
Previously, if a player made an appearance in a game, it would count toward their four seasons of eligibility unless they got approval from the NCAA, usually from an injury.
Last season, Virginia Cavaliers true freshman quarterback Lindell Stone appeared in relief in a 41-10 loss to Boston College. Stone now will only have three years left at Virginia for participating in only 14 plays. If a similar situation happens this upcoming season, the true freshman would still have four years.
This new rule is great. It’s one of the best things the NCAA has ever done. It allows teams to get younger players experience in blowout games or against lesser competition. This could allow teams to pull a move similar to what the Chiefs did in the NFL with Patrick Mahomes last year and start the future starter in a meaningless game. We also will see increased depth in bowl games. With more players following in the footsteps of Christian McCaffrey and sitting out a bowl game to avoid injuries before the NFL Draft, we can see the younger players get playing time without it hurting their eligibility. As a Nebraska fan, this would have been huge in the 2016 Music City Bowl when senior Tommy Armstrong was injured and senior Ryker Fyfe started. With this rule, Patrick O’Brien could have started for the Huskers and Mike Riley could have seen his potential starter for the next season in action.
It also will help when players get injured. Previously, players who played in less than 30 percent of a season and suffered a serious injury prior to the start of the second half of the season could apply for another year of eligibility. Now a player could get a redshirt regardless of when the injury happened as long as they didn’t go over the maximum allotted game time to qualify.
This redshirt rule is only in football right now, but it will be interesting to see if this gets expanded to other sports. But the two new rules are some of the best moves the NCAA have made in a long time.
Luke Peterson is the sports editor of the Leavenworth Times. Contact him at email@example.com