An Exercise In Futility.

The University of Arkansas’ athletic department is filing paperwork with the NCAA to appeal the mandatory sitting out of a season that QB Ryan Mallett will have to do after coming over from Michigan due to the hiring of Rich Rodriguez and his spread offense. Honestly, good luck with that, guys — if I was Bobby Petrino, losing both Darren McFadden and Felix Jones to the NFL draft and left with the wobbly-armed Casey Dick as the starting QB, I’d try this one too.

The chances of the NCAA showing some leniency on the rule save extreme violations by a coaching staff or other extreme circumstances are slim and none. Never mind that Mallett and other players who commit to play football at the I-A level should have the ability to transfer with reduced time sat out if the coach is replaced — the rule itself is an anachronism, developed when coaches stayed at universities until they dies or retired, an era where the scrutiny a head coach was exposed to was much less intense.

It also preserves the naive belief that big-time football players choose schools based more on the institution than their own playing situation and the coach in place to execute it. Should Mallett have to blow off a year just to be able to play at Arkansas after the writing was on the wall at Michigan? Probably not, but that’s just the way the sick system operates — meanwhile, coaches can leave recruits high and dry, and they’re basically trapped.

I’d love nothing more if Mallett and the Razorbacks managed to coerce the NCAA into some form of compromise on this, but it’s not happening — there’s too much invested at the high levels of the administration in the belief that these men on the gridiron are attending institutions for much more than football. Otherwise, the rule wouldn’t be in place today.

19 Responses

  1. When a coach leaves for any reason, players should be released from their commitments, except to follow him.
    Let the universities figure out how to deal with coaches that leave.
    Also, probation should follow a coach that leaves when he/she is involved..

  2. […] and that whole “wait a year before you play after a transfer” bullshit? Yeah, up your ass with that. I mean, I’m in Arkansas now. That’s not even in the same country at Michigan, because […]

  3. This is kind of a special situation, though. As I understand it, Mallet only left after a face-to-face meeting with Rodriguez. The coach basically said that they were looking to move in a different direction with the QB spot, and that if he wanted to play/start then he should transfer. That’s like a coach firing a player! If a coach basically fires you (and not keeps you on the depth chart) then I think you should be granted a waiver. If anything, Rodriguez should help Mallet write the letter…

  4. Yeah, but that logic never flies — the spirit of the NCAA’s rule says players should choose schools based on institutions, not coaches, teams, and playing time — when we all know that doesn’t happen a whole lot now.

  5. The NCAA should not allow this waiver. If you released players from commitments when there is a coaching change, then conceivably Michigan (for example) could have had forty guys off their roster just up and leave because of “extenuating circumstances” like playing time or a new coach. You’d create a situation where players could just shop around from year to year (like free agency in the NFL with four different one-year contracts). Where does it end? What if they get a new position coach? Would that be grounds for transferring and not sitting out a year? This would set a bad precedent.

  6. Last time I checked he went to school for education, not solely for football.

    If that’s the case Michigan needs it’s two years of tuition paid back.

  7. ThreenOut – that’s very funny.

    GratefulBlue – it’s only a bad precedent because coaches get to leave as they please; somewhere along the line the rules had a serious shift and it leaves players in the lurch.

  8. Arkansas actually pulled this off with a player a couple of years ago. A kid who was from Arkansas went to LSU and then transferred to the UA after only one year. He got a waiver based on a sick family member. Admittedly it was a very close family member, like his father I think, and there is a provision allowing that type of thing, but maybe they think it’s worth it to try again.

    Anyway, I think the NCAA needs to come up with an exception to this sit out a year after transfer rule to allow players who are basically kicked out by the new coach to play immediately. Mallett maybe have committed to Michigan, but Rich Rod clearly let him know that Michigan isn’t committed to him.

    Now it would serve Rodriguez right if he loses that attention whore Pryor to OSU. hahaha ;-)

    Of course, the other side to this argument is that Mallett would have gone to Ark. initially if he hadn’t hated Houston Nutt’s guts so badly. So the NCAA will probably look at this as something that might have happened no matter who the new coach ended up being.

  9. GratefulBlue – so what if players could move around every year? Most wouldn’t. Really, what would be so terrible about it? Threenout – Many players do go to college to get an education…in football. Why they should be treated any different than a dance major or a theater major or a physics major, I don’t know. If any are disappointed by the program at one school why shouldn’t they be allowed to move on? All are preparing for an occupation. And please don’t give me statistics about how many will make it to the NFL. Many will coach or otherwise be involved with athletics or like many of us will end up in an occupation that didn’t even exist when they graduated.

  10. first of all, mallett was wanted by michigan. He was call three times and told that rr would build the off around him, showed him film on shawn king. the truth of the matter is mallett wanted to leave even when carr was still at michigan in the spring, and then stayed because carr talked him out of it and played in the fall.
    the kid has wanted to leave since he got to michigan and this was his way to save face and leave. he should lose this year

  11. h8, what in the world are you talking about? Mallett was a true freshman, why would he transfer before he ever started a season?

    Also, i’d love to read a story that say’s with any kind of factual basis that RR really wanted Mallett to stay and start while he was in PA watching Pryor’s basketball games.

  12. How can you waste your time with this crap when we’re one national emergency away from martial law, and they’re tasing people dead in the streets? Are you ready to be microchipped yet? Real ID is just around the corner buddy…. Won’t be so fun drinking beer in front of the tv when your purchasing history is linked to your medical records and your “health officer” can cut you off…..

  13. Mallett was talking about transferring before he even took a snap. He said he was homesick, and didn’t like the weather. Wah. By his own admission, he said he had meetings with RR and was told that the offense could be built around him. RR said from day 1 that he would work with tthe talent that was already in place. Also, there were many rumors that he was not well liked by the team.
    Good bye, and good luck ryan.

  14. […] and that whole ?wait a year before you play after a transfer? bullshit? Yeah, up your ass with that. I mean, I?m in Arkansas now. That?s not even in the same country at Michigan, because Michigan is […]

  15. Mikester – if you don’t like it, don’t read it and don’t comment on it.

    Really, there’s no need to chew us out.

  16. Actually, the continued distraction of America’s husbands and fathers is dragging all of us down and somebody needs to grab you by the shoulders and shake you back and forth and say, good god man, where is your sense of priorities? Why is it that you can tell me every score of every game this week, but if I asked you which of your rights were taken away by HR1955, you wouldn’t have a clue?

    Yes, yes…. somebody DOES need to chew you out. PRO SPORTS IS A CONTRIVED DISTRACTION AND YOU HAVE GOT TO FIGHT THE INDOCTRINATION.

    It doesn’t make you “manly” to follow sports… It makes you a fool…..

  17. Mikester — I’ll not further engage your stupidity and ignorance in labeling all sports fans as politically ignorant slugs.

    Now kindly fuck off.

  18. Mikester — there’s so many more important things going on in the world.

    And you’re spending your time on sports blogs?

  19. It’s not just sports fans…. It’s society in general. And the reason I have to come out of my comfort zone into yours is because you’ve isolated yourselves here, as all of us have done. But it’s time to wake up now from this dream… We can’t ignore what’s happening any more. Admittedly, I am using provocateurism to get attention but my message is a serious one and it has to be done. They’ve deliberately pumped pro sports (like celebrity gossip) as a distraction and I’m sorry that’s a difficult thing for you to accept. But the dream is over now and we have to wake up. The fascists are here and they are in control of our government…. The game has to become a reality for as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.

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