Florida Gators

SEC should keep graduate policy, even if Gators lose Malik Zaire

(Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire)

As the SEC considers this week in Destin, FL, whether to relax it’s graduate transfer policy, we at F.F.I. have a stance: leave the policy, as is.

This, even if it costs the mighty Gators a chance at getting Notre Dame QB Malik Zaire to help them, immediately.

Currently, a graduate seeking to transfer and to be immediately eligible, supposedly has to go to a school offering a graduate program that’s not available at their school (this is shaky). However, the SEC took it a step further. And this part, we agree with and applaud:

The SEC implemented a policy that if the graduate transfer doesn’t actually follow through and get his post-graduate degree within a year of playing, then the school must wait over a three year period before it can accept another such transfer.

Look. We all know the whole “student-athlete” part of the NCAA and its schools mantra is a fallacy. But, this is a good policy. It says to the SEC schools: don’t make a sham out of the whole premise and abuse the “immediacy” advantage of the transfer rule.

And, this brings us back to the issue with the possible transfer of Zaire to Gainesville.

As that articles lays out, Florida abused the graduate transfer already with not one, but two of them failing to follow through and get the degree. So, why should they not have to suffer the consequence of the policy that everyone understood/currently understands: if they don’t get the degree, you are screwed from more graduate transfers.

We know the Gator QB situation is up in the air with Luke Del Rio’s off season shoulder surgery, plus a couple of inexperienced others like Felipe Franks, etc. And, Zaire would likely be an immediate solution to help.

Reportedly, Zaire has picked the Gators over numerous other choices, but awaits the Southeastern Conference to vote. And, you have to believe that rivals like Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, etc. aren’t going to be willing to just go along with what’s being discussed this week. This, when, the Gators could become dramatically better at the most important position with Zaire.

Are we too idealistic? Probably. Are we going to hear Commissioner Greg Sankey step up to the podium and actually say to his schools: “This is why we have the rule we do about graduate transfers?” Not likely.

But, you have rules with consequences for a reason. And, it they shouldn’t be voted away just because there’s a consequence hanging in the balance for a prominent member.

No. The SEC should keep this graduate transfer policy/consequence.

And Gator fans, if Malik Zaire was attempting to transfer to Georgia, or Tennessee who couldn’t take him, you would be shouting from the top of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium: Enforce the rule!

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