Let’s take athletics out of the debate for a moment and look at the life of an every day student. I work in the legal field (I’m not a lawyer though), and I know a lot of people who finished their undergrad degree, and then went on to law school. Many, if not most, of the people I know who’ve done that, went to law school at a university that was not the same as their undergrad degree. Some, because their university didn’t have a law school, some because they couldn’t get in to that law school, others because they wanted to apply to a higher-ranked law school, and still others simply had personal reasons. Maybe they didn’t want to move far, far away at 18, but by the time they were 22-23, they were ready to do so for their graduate work.
Anyway you look at it, you realize that getting your undergrad degree, and then deciding that you want to go to grad school somewhere else, is pretty common.
And yet, there are still those who are upset that the NCAA allows a student-athlete with eligibility left, to immediately continue playing a sport when they do so.
This seems insane. Does it not? Isn’t this the same NCAA that is constantly telling us about how these are students first, and athletes second? How “most of them go pro in something other than athletics”?
Then why do some people want to enforce different rules for athletes when it comes to grad transfers than we would for any other student?
And yes, the irony of anyone in college basketball, a sport dominated by one-and-done athletes who don’t even bother to finish one year of school, being angered by a player leaving after finishing their degree for the opportunity to play, and attend grad school, elsewhere is pretty rich.
Though, again, I have to go back to my original point. Why are any rules in the NCAA different for athletes than it is for other students. Other students can transfer schools at any time, for any reason, with no penalty. Other students can leave school, and the rest of the student body isn’t punished by the drop in graduation rate. Other students can have jobs, careers, and get paid for those things, including the ones on scholarships other than athletic scholarships.
But not athletes. Nope, can’t have that.
So, dear NCAA, are they students who happen to play sports? Or are they somehow different? And if they are somehow different, than why are you continuing to act as though college football and basketball are something other than unpaid development leagues?