The potential for the end of the SEC’s ban on graduate-student transfers is up for discussion at the conference’s spring meetings this week, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Solomon.
Most conferences allow eligible graduate students the chance to transfer to another school and play immediately as long as the new school has an academic graduate program not offered at the previous institution. The rule was put into place by the NCAA in 2006, but the SEC decided to form its own policy in 2011 and require athletes to have at least two years of eligibility remaining to transfer to an SEC school.
Solomon is reporting that South Carolina is proposing that the conference return back to the NCAA standards for graduate transfers.
South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner said the issue mainly pertains to basketball, where coaches often use the graduate transfer rule to reload their roster with upperclassmen, but football coaches are also weighing in.
“I don’t think we’ve come to a conclusion," Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said. “It’s affected me the other way – I’ve had two quarterbacks leave in two years and become eligible at other places.”
South Carolina’s proposal cites “competitive concerns” and says that the SEC’s current stance on the issue “is contrary to student-athlete welfare and penalizes student-athletes who are successful in the classroom, but continue to have a desire to compete during their graduate studies.”
Per Solomon, South Carolina has suggested three possibilities. The conference could simply allow graduate transfers to play immediately in all sports, allow all graduate transfers to play immediately except in football, or allow graduate transfers in only basketball.
Tanner said he thinks the issue will be voted on “by the end of the week.”
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