A profound problem is looming on the hoops horizon for college basketball.
The NCAA Division I Council was scheduled to discuss a one-time transfer waiver on Friday, according to an ESPN report. Then the council is scheduled to vote on the proposal on May 20.
And guess what.
If the proposal passes, the waiver would go into effect immediately. That means all first-time transfers would be eligible immediately for the 2020-21 season.
That’s right — immediately.
Considering the number of Division I men’s basketball players who have placed their names in the transfer portal, this would be positively cataclysmic.
Anybody want to take a guess at the number?
Nobody ever would pick a high enough figure.
There is a stunning total of 746 Division I men’s basketball players in the transfer portal. Seven-hundred forty-six! That total includes 181 graduate transfers, who already are eligible immediately.
But what about the other 565 players? Those athletes were expecting to sit out the 2020-21 basketball season as transfers. But if this measure is passed the 565 players would be eligible immediately.
Since this proposal would be put into effect for next season, it means a staggering total of 746 basketball players could be playing for different Division I men’s basketball programs next season.
There’s more fallout, too.
If this measure passes, how many more first-time transfers also would put their names into the portal, since they will be eligible immediately?
This move absolutely could wreak havoc. Particularly at the mid-major level. The big-time basketball programs could — and probably would — turn the mid-majors into a happy hunting ground.
They could pillage mid-major programs at will.
That’s why Marshall University veteran head coach Danny D’Antoni is extremely opposed to the proposal.
“I don’t think it should happen,” said D’Antoni. “Mid-majors would be huge losers. We would be developing players on our level and would end up being a junior college for the power schools.”
He’s absolutely correct.
Mid-majors virtually would become junior colleges. A mid-major program could develop a gifted athlete such as the Thundering Herd’s Taevion Kinsey for a couple of years, then a big-time program could steal him away for his junior and senior seasons.
“We’d become a junior college for basketball development,” said D’Antoni. “That’s not unlike it is now for academic improvement in junior colleges.”
He’s right again.
D’Antoni also made another good point about the proposal and upcoming vote in May.
“Once a change is made,” he said, “it’s difficult to change course back to how it was.”
That’s simply human nature.
The problem is this proposal shouldn’t be even coming up for a vote. It’s classic rich-get-richer legislation. And it would ruin collegiate basketball as we know it.
Let’s hope reason and common sense win out.
Chuck Landon is a sports columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.