MONDAY MUSINGS: Transfer rules, hoops schedule notes

This might not be a popular opinion here at, but it is difficult for me to argue against the growing momentum of the idea to require graduate transfers to sit out a year before being eligible to play at his/her new school.

"If you’re transferring to be in a graduate program, the NCAA wants you to be working in earnest toward that degree rather than just using up your last year of eligibility," NCAA vice president for Division I governance Lennon recently told the AP last week.

A couple of additional points from the NCAA: Most graduate degrees take two years to obtain and statistics prove that more graduate transfers do not finish their secondary degrees than do. 

According to that very AP article, 604 players switched schools in 2014 compared to 455 in 2013. Sure, Iowa State has benefited from transfers. There’s no doubt about that and for this, I give mad credit to Fred Hoiberg. He knows who he is and where he is. It is difficult to consistently attract top-level high school talent to Iowa State. It is what it is. But like a great NASCAR crew chief, Hoiberg has worked brilliantly in the gray area and had success with it. Every coach should do this. Heck, every leader of every organization should do this. Well done, Mayor. 

Full disclosure: Part of me does feel like punishing a student-athlete who has already obtained a Bachelor’s degree (which is supposed to be the point to this whole deal, right?) is wrong. On the other hand, it’s hard for me to argue with administrators whoa re looking to get rid of the “hired gun” aspect of graduate transfers. There is little doubt in my mind that this change in the rule would do the trick. Now if you want to argue the whole amateurism thing and the consistent hypocrisy of the NCAA, well, that’s another column for another day. 

For the record, Iowa State has taken three graduate transfers since Hoiberg got to Ames (Jake Anderson, DeAndre Kane and Bryce Dejean-Jones). Under what could be the new rules, for the Royce White’s, Chris Babb’s and Nick Babb’s of the world, nothing would change.

If the NCAA does change things up and make graduate transfers sit out a year, there isn’t much question that the number of transfers in college basketball would go down, possibly dramatically. For the student-athletes who really do want to move onto another school for academic purposes, yeah, this sucks. But they can still do that – they just have to sit out a year. 

Realists, however, know this is rarely the case.

So what’s the difference in this topic and the one-and-done culture that is also so obvious in college basketball? One-year players aren’t moving on to play at another academic institution. Once they sign an agent, these guys are out of the NCAA’s hair so to speak.

2015-16 hoops schedule notes

*** According to a source, the 2015-16 Iowa State men’s basketball schedule is shaping up to be the most ambitions non-conference slate of the Fred Hoiberg era. Games we know: Colorado (neutral), Virginia Tech (neutral), Illinois or UAB (neutral), Iowa (home), UNI (neutral), Chicago State and Tennessee-Chattanooga.

*** I’m hearing rumblings that a couple of NCAA Tournament level mid-majors should be coming to Hilton too. Names of those programs, however, I do not know at this time (stay tuned). 

*** I’m thinking through Iowa State’s opponent in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. We know that Iowa State has to go on the road this year. Kansas played both Kentucky (non challenge game) and Florida last season. Iowa State, Kansas and Oklahoma are without question going to be the top three teams in the Big 12. I think that Iowa State currently has more clout nationally than Oklahoma does. Add it all together and on the surface, I see a trip to Kentucky or Florida in Iowa State’s future. I’m told though that Iowa State has no clue where it stands here.

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