December 6th, 2018 | by CollegeAD

Passed in 2006, the NCAA’s graduate transfer exemption rule permits a player who retains a year of athletic eligibility after gaining his undergraduate degree to play as a grad student at another school without having to sit out a full season. The number of players using it has risen from 15 in ’10–11 to 124 this year, an increase of 733%. At the same time, another trend is happening in college basketball: an increase in so-called “up-transfers.” The term refers to players who move up from a mid-major to a major program, or from a less-decorated major to one with a recent national championship. These trends have overlapped to create a new phenomenon: the up-grad transfer. Like all transfer-related topics, this burgeoning subgenre has engendered controversy. Proponents praise the rule for providing athletes more agency in a multibillion-dollar industry that offers little of it. Detractors (read: coaches) decry the rule because it lessens the reward for player development, hurts smaller programs’ ability to build their rosters and encourages player movement by removing the deterrent of needing to sit out. Coaches are adapting to the new landscape. Staffs now circulate lists of players who might be eligible to become grad transfers; many fear their players will be courted by other programs. -Dan Greene, Sports Illustrated, Read More

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