On Monday afternoon, the ACC became the second “Power 5” conference to come out in favor of allowing transfers to be immediately eligible to play for their new school. And now, we wait to see how much momentum this gains and how much more craziness it will bring to the NCAA transfer portal?
Statement from the ACC on transfer opportunity: pic.twitter.com/2oMEKNOSFB
— The ACC (@theACC) February 17, 2020
With that public acknowledgement, the fourteen members (plus sort of Notre Dame for football) in the ACC are joining the Big Ten in calling on the NCAA to relax the transfer eligibility rules. Those have been in place for decades, and currently, unless there are extenuating circumstances or the player is a graduate from the school that he’s leaving, the players usually have to sit out one year of competition from the time of transfer.
However, numerous players have gotten around this, including Miami getting transfer quarterback Tate Martell from Ohio State this time a year ago and having him win a waiver from the NCAA to let him be immediately eligible. Martell failed to win the starting quarterback job in Coral Gables this past season, but that’s beside the point.
And, a prominent example of the graduate transfer loophole that exists, included Florida State utilizing Wisconsin transfer QB Alex Hornibrook (above) to play immediately during last year dismal 2019 season. Hornibrook, who had led the Badgers to an Orange Bowl win two seasons earlier, play sparingly for FSU in 2019.
The further argument is: that the NCAA places no restrictions on coaches jumping from school to school to immediately coach the following season. And, even in awful looking situations like Colorado’s former coach, Mel Tucker, leaving after the second high school National Signing Day and taking the Michigan State vacancy with no waiting, last week.
Yet, the Colorado players (and any players left behind by their coach departing) are subject to the transfer rules/portal.
Ultimately, it will be up to the NCAA to decide how to do change the rules, but with dozens and dozens of players, annually, looking to transfer and play immediately, it does seem that the governing body of college sports should do something.
And, there’s always the possibility that these power conferences, including the SEC, Big 12 and Pac-12 could look to break away from the NCAA rules and make their own, somewhere down the road.
There is no firm timetable, yet to rule on the “immediate eligibility” suggestions of the Big Ten and the ACC.