I have a problem with the NCAA scholarship process. The problem is the responsibility all falls on one party, while the rewards and control all go to the other.
The player must attend meetings, practices, get good grades, play well, etc. In return, they receive an athletic scholarship that pays tuition, board and a small stipend.
The university gets the rewards of having athletic teams (donors, gate receipts, concessions, public recognition, etc) and gets to decide if they will renew those scholarships every year. If a student decides they do not like a certain school, the school can decide whether or not they can transfer, or if they can transfer to certain schools or not and be offered scholarships at those places.
The next time someone says that D-1 athletes are just like other students on scholarship I want you to remember this – a student on an academic scholarship can decide that they don’t like the major offered at one school, or they want to go to a different school that has a different program and, if their grades are good enough, they are gone. They don’t have to wait for the English department to release them from their scholarship. They don’t have to petition the NCAA for a waiver. They can just pack up their stuff and apply to another school and that’s that. Athletes cannot do that. They have to be released, or apply for a waiver. If neither of those things happen, their only other option is to drop down a level (meaning a D-1 player can only go D-2, D-3 or NAIA, D-2’s can only go D-3 or NAIA).
Charlie Weis (allegedly) kicked Brock Berglund off the team, along with JaQwaylin Arps, Dexter McDonald, Darrian Miller, Adonis Saunders, and Keeston Terry. It is now rumored that KU is not releasing Berglund and that Miller is having trouble being granted his release as well. These players say they had informed the staff that they wanted to transfer, and the staff has indicated (by saying they kicked them off the team) that they don’t want them on the KU football team. So why not grant the releases? Only Travis Bodenstein has been granted a release to transfer and he has moved on to Arkansas State. Is KU not releasing the others because there’s a chance that Miller, Terry and McDonald all transfer to Mizzou (all were high on the Tigers before ultimately picking KU). Adonis Saunders to K-State or Iowa State maybe? Is KU worried that they could lose these guys to rivals and doesn’t want to look bad?
This isn’t an indictment of Weis so much as it is on the system. There was a coaching change. Recruits pick schools based on the coach. That coach isn’t there anymore, so they should be allowed to transfer if they so choose in my opinion. Coaches can take another job and coach there immediately. We don’t see Weis having to sit out a year after leaving Florida for the head job at KU. Sumlin left Houston for Texas A&M and will be on the sidelines there next year. Coaches can leave one job for another with no penalty. Athletes have to give up a year, and if they have already redshirted, they just lose that year of playing.
I sincerely hope that KU does the right thing and grants these releases. There’s no reason to keep these kids from pursuing their careers elsewhere if they are no longer wanted on the team at KU.