Alex Henry – Staff Writer
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College basketball is very popular, and its “March Madness” tournament get millions involved to fill out brackets and watch college athletes compete.
College basketball, however, has a situation that has become prevalent, which is players transferring.
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According to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, who has tracked transfers for all 351 Division I basketball schools in the past decade, the number has drastically increased.
This all began in 2010 when the NCAA announced a player can transfer after he had graduated from his currently enrolled university and would be immediately eligible to play.
The normal transfer rule says that one must sit out a season before playing for a new team.
Once this began, the numbers of transfers rose. This season, there is over 100 graduate transfers according to Goodman.
Over each of the past two seasons, there have been over 700 total transfers, which is an average of two per team.
I believe that every transfer is for a different reason, but at some point, this must be looked at as it is getting out of control.
I understand players wanting more playing time, and I also get players wanting to transfer if there is a coaching change.
However, according to Goodman, the first transfer list he did for ESPN back in 2008, there was just over 200 player transfers.
Obviously that number has drastically increased partially because of the graduate transfer rule, but even with that rule coming into play, number would be around 300.
So, why has the number of transfers per year increased by more than double so quickly?
My thought is this generation of players has been put more into the spotlight than ever before.
The billions of dollars made by the NCAA to broadcast all the March Madness games in its entirety, or the coverage at the youth level makes more players want to transfer.
From ESPN broadcasting the McDonald’s All American game, or a variety of other youth show cases, to social media, effect where all the players get instant feedback from fans.
The environment that these guys and myself included have grown up in is different than previous generations, and the belief that the grass is greener on the other side becomes truer than ever before.
The fact is there are a total of 520 transfers for next season already at the Division I level, and the season ended less than a month ago.
I see the number continue to rise considerably in the future.
Whether it is in the best interest of the players or the sport itself remains to be seen, but with every transfer, one thing does become clear.
It becomes much harder for mid-major schools to make a Cinderella run in March.
Its best players will transfer or graduate and then transfer to play at a power five conference school, and the other schools will slowly dwindle over the coming years.