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May 24, 2013

Flock Talk: Transfer Stupidity

Transfer Stupidity

What does a signature mean in college football?

Every year something crops up around college football that remind us of the serious inequity in how players and coaches are treated. Coaches have a contract that allows them to, essentially, buy their own signature. This gives coaches the freedom to move, almost at will, to any other job that they see as a move in a positive direction. Sure, that means that a new suitor has to come up with some serious cash to buy out the best coaches; but it is still a plausible option for a coach to move to a better job.

Players? Not so much. Yes, they can transfer, and they have to then sit out a year before being eligible to compete.

Once again the serious disconnect between the rules for coaches and players came into focus recently with the manner that Oklahoma State handled a transfer. Mike Gundy, famous first for his "I'm a man" rant defending former quarterback Bobby Reid, stands in stark contrast to his handling of Lunt's transfer.

It is fairly common for coaches to put some restrictions on a player requesting a release from his scholarship. This is especially true in cases where an assistant coach has taken another job and the athlete looks to follow. In many ways this is sensible as it ensures that coaches do not attempt to secretly recruit players on scholarship.

In Lunt's case, one of the schools that the release agreement forbade was, in fact, a school where an assistant had gone to coach. But from there, the list gets stranger. While saying in a prepared statement that he was happy to release Lunt, the list of schools Gundy was not allowed to transfer to included the entirety of three conferences; the SEC, Big 12 and Pac 12, as well as Southern Mississippi and Central Michigan.

Yes; Central Michigan is a future opponent of Oklahoma State, but is Gundy really afraid of Central Michigan? If so, he might want to rethink the "I'm a man" routine.

It is not clear that standardized release agreements are the answer as it is doubtful that a truly standardized release agreement would be effective. Nonetheless, it is time for the conference commissioners to get together and discuss the issue.

Chip Kelly had a much more lenient transfer policy; go where you want. Seems a simple philosophy doesn't it? The fact is the NCAA already puts a restriction on players transferring between Football Bowl Subdivision schools with the one year waiting period. The occasional limitation of a school that just hired an assistant away makes sense. But, at some point, what do the restrictions placed by coaches really prove? That coaches have all the power?

Of course, this also brings up another issue that raised its head this week; players who have signed a National Letter of Intent that want to change their destination. This is a trickier area as there are sometimes legitimate reasons to need a release. Last year's Penn State sanctions are a prime example of situations that should give some flexibility to players who are caught off guard.

Recruiting is about relationship building. And that can sometimes be a problem. Prospects are committing to a university when they sign on the dotted line; not an individual. As it stands, a player who signs a NLI must either attend the school with which he signed, or wait a year and the NLI will become null and void. That seems a fairer situation than the transfer rules. Coaches cannot place limitations on where the athlete can attend once the NLI is void. If a player is released from the NLI, there should be the same one year waiting period, but no limitations.

And, maybe that's the answer for transfer rules; very few limitations. In fact, just one limitation that relates to following a departed coach.

It's time to allow players a little more latitude with their own lives. It's time for coaches like Mike Gundy to grow up and be a man.

Recruiting Buzz

This week was a very busy week in Duck recruiting. There were no new commits, but with Spring evaluations in full swing, Duck coaches were criss-crossing the nation making offers to some of the best players around.

Matt Lubick, working around some old stomping grounds was in North Carolina making an offer to wide receiver Trevion Thompson. Arrion Springs, who many considered a Duck lean just waiting for an offer got his most coveted offer this week as well.

Rivals released updated rankings this week with two Oregon commits getting some bump in the rating with Tyrell Crosby finally getting rated with three-stars. Morgan Mahalak, a three-star quarterback commit, moved into the pro-style quarterback rankings at No. 20 in the nation.

Top Trio and Hidden Gems looked at the safety position this week.

As always, stay with Duck Sports Authority as we continue to bring you the latest recruiting information and break down those recruits looking at Oregon.

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