In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that I am writing this while torn. I will get back to that in a moment.
There is an NCAA rule that allows a player who has earned his degree to transfer to a different school and play immediately as long as they still have a year of eligibility left. The only stipulation is that the new school must have a graduate program available that the old school did not, and the player must enroll in that program. In the beginning, I imagine that this rule was put in place to protect the students, allowing them to use their athletic ability to further their education in any field that they desire. By the rule, they are transferring for a school’s “botanical restoration” program, not the football program.
Unfortunately, that’s not what the rule has become known for.
This is the same rule that allowed Russell Wilson to move from NC State to Wisconsin for one season last year. The one that (oddly) let Duke basketball standout Greg Paulus transfer to Syracuse to play QB for a season. It’s also the rule that allowed QB Jeremiah Masoli to play for Ole Miss for a season after he was kicked off the team by Oregon for repeatedly breaking rules.
I am not a fan of this “quarterback for a year”, college free agency rule. I can’t say exactly why, but it just doesn’t feel right. Colleges going out and recruiting 21-22 year old players with seasons under their belt as starters at other universities? That’s not how it’s supposed to work.
Insert Danny O’Brien, with a twist. O’ Brien is a rare college student who has graduated in 2 years. He is now looking to transfer from Maryland and, due to his situation, will be immediately able to play for TWO seasons to fulfill his eligibility.
Apparently, Penn State is a possible destination. I’ve read that other schools, such as UConn, Wisconsin and Vanderbilt (HC James Franklin was O’Brien’s OC at Maryland his freshman season) are also in the mix. I’m not sure about the schematics of a decision like this and when it must take place but I know that Wilson’s decision didn’t happen until long after Spring Practice had closed last year.
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