Washington Huskies president has absurd idea that restricts player rights
JUN 06, 2014 6:15p ET
Washington president Michael Young seems to have good intentions when he recently discussed the shifting college sports landscape.
He just has one truly awful idea.
During a wide-ranging discussion about the state of the NCAA and various rule proposals that have been tossed around, the subject of transfers came up.
To Young's credit, he agreed that under certain circumstances -- say, if there's a coaching change -- perhaps players should be able to transfer without penalty.
But then he mentioned that there needs to be some kind of transferring restriction, or else there would be continuous roster churn, and casually suggested this gem:
From the Seattle Times:
“One possibility is, like the pros, you get to designate a franchise player or two,” Young said. “(Or) five kids who can’t transfer, or if they transfer, they have to sit out a year, and the whole rest of your team is OK. I don’t know, I’m just making that stuff (up). We’ll have to figure that out.”
So, to be clear, one variation of a transfer rule that at least one president in America thinks holds weight is the idea a coach can look at his players and say, "You, you, you, you and you can't leave this program even if you want to. The rest of you, good luck."
The second part of that suggestion -- players can transfer but have to sit out a year -- is the way it works now and is only slightly less terrible.
Players should have an uninhibited right to decide where the best place for them to play and go to school is, and there should never be any penalty involved for making that personal decision. Not to belabor a counterpoint made hundreds of times, but coaches bail on contracts every year for more appealing work environments and can do so without sitting out a year.
The only way Young's "franchise tag" idea should even be discussed is if players start getting paid. Like, a salary, not a $2,000 stipend. If you want to go there, college presidents of America, then let's talk. We doubt that you do.
Again, Young didn't propose this rule viciously, and he genuinely seems like he wants to improve college sports and help players. If so, we thank him for that.
But, goodness, this one suggestion is so misguided in the current structure of college sports that it needs to be quashed before it ever begins to find legs.