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Why Do Transfer Waivers Have College Basketball Writers' Panties In A Bunch?

Tony Chennault, who is transferring to be closer to home after his brother died and his mother fell ill, is a MONSTER according to Jon Rothstein.
Tony Chennault, who is transferring to be closer to home after his brother died and his mother fell ill, is a MONSTER according to Jon Rothstein.

Shady recruiting tactics. NCAA greed. Coaching scandals. Booster payments. Players leaving early.

Whenever someone wants to point out everything that's wrong with college basketball, these are the things most people reference. And while they seem like easy targets and simple explanations for the problems facing the sport, none of them are truly the problem.

You and I know what the real scourge of college basketball is...transfer waivers.

That's right. The process by which the NCAA grants a player transferring from one school to another the ability to play right away rather than sitting out for a year. It's an epidemic.

This is what is ruining college basketball, America and baby Jesus. How do I know? Cause Jon Rothstein told me:


"College basketball would be much better?" Would it? Would we all be sitting around the TV watching Gonzaga play Butler, thinking to ourselves that this game is so much more enjoyable knowing that no players on either team could be granted a waiver to play immediately if they transferred? Is that what we're missing?

Seth Davis agrees so you know it must really be true.

So what is this is in response to? The (apparently) large number of transfer waivers being granted this off-season. (I have no way of checking but I'm willing to bet it's not a larger amount than normal. ESPN or someone else just happened to notice it).

Wake Forest transfer Tony Chennault will play immediately for Villanova due to a waiver he received after he wanted to play close to home following his brother's death and mother's health issues. Central Michigan transfer Trey Zeigler will play right away for Pitt after CMU's coach, his Dad, was fired. And there's a lot more noted in this Andy Katz article.

The tone of Katz's article is one of "this doesn't seem fair." And for a while now, that's been the rallying cry of college basketball writers. Now it's coming to a head, hence Rothstein's random Twitter diatribe.

Here's the thing I don't get. If it's unfair, if schools are abusing this waiver process to the detriment of transfers forced to sit out an entire year, why is your reaction in the immediately direction of the outcome that would penalize student-athletes?

Why aren't you going the other way and saying it's silly for transfers to have to sit out a year at all?

If you or I transferred to a different college while at school, we wouldn't have to wait a year before we can't start taking classes. If the coach of that college basketball team takes a job with another school, hell, even a rival school, he doesn't have to wait an entire season before he can start coaching.


The sitting-out-a-year rule is as arbitrary as they come and typifies everything that is stupid and overcomplicated about the NCAA. Other than the fact that "that's how it's always been done," you can't give me a good reason to enforce it.

"Well, because there should be a penalty for transferring."

O RLY, doctor? So a 17-year-old who doesn't know s**t and s**t needs to be taught a lesson about life's consequences while every middle-aged coach on his staff and every administrator in his athletics program can bail on him anytime they want without even bothering to leave a goodbye letter? Give me a break.

A couple months ago, you guys were seemingly united in favor of stopping the limits placed on a kid who wants to transfer. Now you want to put limits back on them? Make up your minds.

Get off your high horses and come join the rest of us down here in the real world. Quit bitching about dumb things like the merits of whether or not a guy deserves the chance to play basketball closer to home early because his sibling died and get back to complaining about what actually does damage to the sport, like, you know, those things I mentioned at the top.