New NCAA transfer rules would allow league to become "wild wild west"

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) -- The NCAA is proposing to change its transfer rules, which would allow students to transfer more freely and play immediately.

At the moment, student-athletes are allowed to transfer from one school to another but must face a penalty of sitting out one season. These new rules would allow student-athletes to leave if a coach is fired or if a school is under NCAA sanctions.

Wichita State head coach Gregg Marshall said this would be reckless.

"I'm going to have to get some firearm training. It's going to be like the Wild Wild West," he said. "We are only a couple of hours away from dodge city. It's going to be exciting."

Exciting is one way to put it, but even with his tongue pressed against his cheek, Marshall does not appreciate the new proposal.

"It could be hard to plan let's say, and especially if they do it right away and anywhere you want to go. I'm going to be opposed to the handshake line at that point after the game, maybe even before the game."

The Big 12 was the initial conference to propose these changes. However, Kansas head coach Bill Self said he and the rest of the coaches are adamantly against it.

"The free agency aspect of it, where kids can go wherever they want to go, whenever they want to do it, we are all strongly, strongly, strongly against," he said. "It's not because we think it's negative with kids. It creates an environment where now you're actually recruiting players from other teams in handshake lines."

Another stipulation would prohibit coaches and athletic directors from blocking a transfer or blocking communication between a player and any other team.

In the current rules, coaches and athletic directors can determine where a student-athlete is allowed to transfer by "releasing scholarships," or not. Should the student-athlete decide to leave without a release, he or she will have to pay their own way at their new school.

"People talk a lot about a lot of different things with our sport. Competitive balance is good," Self said. "What you've done is you've just eliminated that with that type of thing."

In addition to keeping competitive balance in check, Self said he's mostly concerned with students completing their programs through graduation.

"If we're looking at it from the big picture as to what's best for student-athletes as a whole over time, I would think that graduation would be at the top of the list."