POLL QUESTION – MAY 16
By ISM Staff & Contributors

SHOULD COLLEGE PLAYERS BE ALLOWED TO TRANSFER AND BE ELIGIBLE IMMEDIATELY AT ANOTHER SCHOOL IF THEIR HEAD COACH LEAVES FOR ANY REASON?

On a weekend where there was still a college football championship to be determined as well as the 2021 Softball Tournament participants to be decided, the roller coaster of NCAA activities that were rearranged by Covid continued.  Here’s hoping that, with the vaccines starting to be distributed to millions of Americans, the schedule of athletic events can get back to some level close to normalcy by the 2021 NCAA football season in August.

The disruption in scheduling hasn’t dampened the collegiate coaching carousel one iota.  17 new hires in football led by Texas hiring former Alabama Offensive Coordinator Steve Sarkisian.  57 new head honchos in Men’s Basketball with former Texas HC Shaka Smart heading north to take the reigns at Marquette and Hubert Davis coming out of the broadcast booth to take over his alma mater at North Carolina.  Finally, 39 Women’s Basketball programs will have new leadership with the most surprising of all being former Baylor HC Kim Mulkey leaving the Bears and heading home to direct the fortunes of the LSU Tigers.

Before you say that looks like a big number, think of how many more coaches would have been given their pink slip if not for the pandemic.  With all that being said, that brings us to our next poll question.

SHOULD COLLEGE PLAYERS BE ALLOWED TO TRANSFER AND BE ELIGIBLE IMMEDIATELY AT ANOTHER SCHOOL IF THEIR HEAD COACH LEAVES FOR ANY REASON?

Some very interesting responses to our weekly query.  Enjoy!

TRACE CRISP – ISM PHOTO JOURNALIST
It would depend on the promises made by the Coach when recruiting.  If the coach said led the player to believe they would be there to teach / coach the player, then yes, the contract is null and void in my opinion.  It would also depend on the terms outlined in the signing contract as to whether or not the player has the option.

ABIGAIL HOPE – ISM WRITER
Absolutely! Yes! Speaking from experience, as a transfer college student-athlete who was fortunate enough to be released from my past coach, there are hundreds of reasons why a player wants/needs to transfer. Whether a player is homesick, unhappy in the place, needs a change of scenery, isn’t fitting in, or any other scenarios, it should not be left to transfer rules to decide if 25% of their college athletic career will vanish. The same goes for coaches, they have to do what is best for them, but that should not hold players back from reaching their full potential elsewhere.

DAVISD ALEXANDER – AFC WEST CORRESPONDENT
Yes.  The coach is under no obligation to wait out a season before getting another job.  The player should have the same opportunity.

ADAM SZNAPSTAJLER – ISM WRITER
Any player that transfers should be able to play immediately. Any other student is able to change schools as often as they’d like and athletic scholarships are really just one year contracts that the school can take away after a year anyway.  I believe in a free market so that means paying athletes and allowing them to change schools when needed. And, if you still believe that college sports are truly amateur, you should go tell Nick Saban to take a professor’s salary.

LEO HAGGERTY – ISM EDITOR
Let’s be brutally honest here.  The collegiate football and basketball players, by successfully playing in the College Football Playoff and both the men and women competing in March Madness, saved the NCAA from financial oblivion.  If the NCAA would not have been able to have a CFP and a second cancellation of March Madness, the organization would have almost assuredly gone bankrupt and whether that would have been a good thing will definitely be a future POLL QUESTION topic.  Players should have to option, when their head coach is replaced for whatever reason, to transfer to another institution of higher learning with no penalty for leaving.  That’s just the right thing to do but, as usual, it will be all about the Benjamins and that’s what drives the NCAA.