Page 1 | October 11, 2013



America East Coaches

Protest Transfer Rules

Ari Kramer | Sports Editor

On Jan. 28, 2012, then - junior guard Logan Aronhalt scored nine of Albany’s last 14 points to fend off a pesky Hartford team on the road. The Great Danes’ co-captain finished with 17 points and eight rebounds, exceeding his season averages of 14.6 and 4.7, respectively. But four months later, head coach Will Brown would never again be able to rely on Aronhalt to lead his team. The junior, who had taken a medical redshirt as a true freshman, completed his degree in human biology in May 2012 and chose to exhaust his collegiate eligibility at Maryland in 2012-13 via NCAA bylaw, a.k.a the One-Time Transfer Exception. Under this rule, student-athletes who graduate but have a year of eligibility remaining can transfer and play immediately as long as they enroll in a master’s program not offered by their previous school. The Graduate Transfer

rule’s inception, a coach had no qualms redshirting a player — for reasons ranging from a According to Sports logjam at the player’s position to Illustrated’s Luke Winn, 35 the player’s wiry frame needing players have transferred up at a year in the weight room. “The danger is now, and I least one level — for example, from the America East to the said this to my staff, if the rules Atlantic 10 or from the Atlantic stay like they are – my assistants 10 to the ACC — via this bylaw have mentioned to me, ‘Hey, since 2008, with the annual this kid has a chance to be number increasing each year. really good. Maybe we take him, Aronhalt is one of those players, redshirt him for a year, let him get stronger, a low-major then we have player lured to for four the big stage. " You don't want him years,’” Brown In 2013“But you 14, 13 graduate to red shirt a kid said. don’t want to U p - Tr a n s f e r s will play for and develop a redshirt a kid and develop a new teams. And that’s just the kid so he can play kid so he can play his final U p - Tr a n s f e r s , a term coined his final year year somewhere else.” by Winn. As more and Overall, somewhere else " more studentat least 24 eligible graduate - Will Brown athletes have elected to play transfers — their final years i n c l u d i n g Brian Freeman, formerly of somewhere else, more and more Binghamton — will suit up for coaches have spoken out against new schools this fall, according the rule. “My thing is it’s very difficult to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman. The one-time transfer to get a master’s degree in one exception, amended to its year, so these kids need two current state in 2006, has forced years to get a master’s degree,” coaches to alter their approach Brown said. “If there’s any to roster building. Before the interest academically in getting a degree, then have him sit out … get a year of your master’s under your belt. In year two, finish your master’s degree and play.” America East commissioner

Amy Huchthausen said the NCAA does not track the academic progress of studentathletes who are no longer eligible for competition, but she validated Brown’s concerns. “Anecdotally what we’re hearing is that most of [the graduate transfers] are not completing their master’s degrees or they’re selecting oneyear programs,” she said. “But I don’t have any information to say whether they are actually completing their master’s degrees or not.” Many coaches view this as a loophole, as players essentially become free agents seeking the ideal setting for their final year of eligibility. In many cases, loyalty takes a backseat to prospects of playing time, a more realistic shot at the NCAA tournament or increased exposure to professional scouts.

The Hardship Waiver

NCAA By law One-Time Transfer Exception: A graduate student who is enrolled in a graduate or professional school of an institution other than the institution from which he or she previously received a baccalaureate degree may participate in intercollegiate athletics if the student fulfills the conditions of the one-time transfer exception set forth in Bylaw and has eligibility remaining.

But graduate transfers are not the only student-athletes contributing to the downward America East players to transfer via NCAA By law since 2012: Logan Aronhalt (Albany to Maryland) Charles White (Hartford to Abilene Christian) spiral towards free agency Trey Blue (Illinois State to Vermont) Brian Freeman (Binghamton to Bowie State) in college basketball. Via the John Peterson (Samford to Hartford) hardship waiver, many players have been granted immediate eligibility in the last several years, though the NCAA would not respond to Pipe Dream’s request for the exact number. the NCAA. Last season, though, the difficult rule to navigate.” Most notably in the America NCAA granted Tavon Sledge The NCAA’s lack of “It either has to be everyone East, the NCAA accepted former immediate eligibility at Iona transparency certainly doesn’t can transfer and be eligible right Binghamton guard D.J. Rivera’s after the diminutive guard left clarify its decision-making away or nobody can,” Pikiell hardship waiver, making him Iowa State to be near an ailing process. said. “I definitely think it’s a eligible for the school’s run to relative in New York. Sledge, “They’re not in position to rule that there’s no in-between the 2009 NCAA however, told lay out, here’s exactly why this category where you can have tournament. Slam Online person’s waiver was approved. both.” League coaches Huchthausen, also the " If I was working that he had Here’s the reason. Here’s all the derided that documentation,” chair of the NCAA Leadership also considered supporting move by at the NCAA I t r a n s f e r r i n g Huchthausen said. “I think the Council’s Transfer Issues colluding to omit to Ole Miss, a mystery of it, if you will, at least Subcommittee, said the coaches’ Rivera from the would probably school more from the coaches’ perspective, is displeasure with the current all-conference rules has not gone unnoticed. than 1,000 miles the most frustrating part. first team, and make every from “It’s their sport,” she said. Iona’s they have grown elihood, and it affects how they New Rochelle The Solution all the more [transfer] sit out campus. Sledge operate their programs.” disgruntled But reconstruction won’t ultimately chose Coaches across the country, by the NCAA’s no matter what " to play closer from Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski occur overnight. Huchthausen inconsistency. to home, but it to Brown, Pikiell, Dempsey and said a policy change could be In the last - Tommy dempsey raises a question: Vermont’s John Becker think implemented sooner than a year alone, should he have the NCAA must amend transfer full legislative overhaul, as, for the NCAA example, the Subcommittee for received the rules. has seemingly handled each waiver if helping a sick relative “If I was working at the Legislative Relief could simply hardship case with a different was not necessarily the driving NCAA I would probably make alter its process for reviewing set of guidelines. factor behind his transfer? every [transfer] sit out no matter waivers rather than re-writing Last week, the NCAA “How [the NCAA] gets to what,” Dempsey said. “If the the rule itself. rejected Ahmad Starks’ hardship those conclusions or decisions The process is still in its NCAA came out tomorrow and waiver. Starks, a Chicago sometimes is tough to said regardless, no matter what, early stages. Where it may head, native, had transferred to understand because I’ve seen it you have to sit out, I would we don’t know. Illinois to be closer to his sick work both ways,” Binghamton “Hopefully,” Huchthausen support that.” grandmother, but the NCAA head coach Tommy Dempsey said, “we can have some things Becker — who took denied his request, citing the said of the NCAA’s general advantage of the graduate in place by the time next spring 100-plus mile distance between dealing with hardship waivers. transfer rule last year when rolls around.” the Champaign campus and his “I don’t think it’s fair,” Stony he brought in Trey Blue from grandmother’s home. Perhaps Brook head coach Steve Pikiell This is the first article of Illinois State — and Brown that’s fair. How frequently can added. “Some kids have to sit echoed that sentiment. Pikiell a two-part series on transfer a student-athlete trek more out a year and other kids don’t only requested consistency from rules. Next up: the players' than 100 miles to tend to an ill have to. It’s become a real perspective. relative?

ause of financial hardship

to transfer bec t-athletes who are compelled den stu for is r ive wa er nsf tra The hardship their family. dent-athlete or a member of or an injury or illness to the stu Blog ­­- Transfer 101, NCAA Bylaw

Pipe Dream Sports Basketball Transfer Feature - Part 1  
Pipe Dream Sports Basketball Transfer Feature - Part 1