NCAA may be close to opening door to limited free agency for players

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While the rest of the sports world is paralyzed by the ongoing global health crisis, the NCAA is moving right along with plans that could provide a college version of limited free agency for players, according to a story at ESPN.com.

It’s not official yet, but the NCAA Divsion I Council is going to discuss a one-time transfer permitted to players on April 24 and vote on it May 20.

Yes, while the rest of the world is crawling along the kangeroo court that rules college sports and usually is slower than a nail is moving at breakneck speed.

According to the story by Jeff Borzello:

There are currently 746 Division I men’s basketball players in the transfer portal, 181 of them classified as graduate transfers. That means 565 players have entered the portal with the expectation of sitting out the 2020-21 season, in accordance with previous NCAA transfer regulations. If a change is enacted that would allow first-time transfers to play immediately at their next school, and it’s put into effect for next season, most of those 746 players would be able to play right away.

That could change just about everything. The details of this will be the most intereting part because there could be a team make almost wholesale changes from the end of one season to the start of the next.

It’s a good bet that happens May 20.

The other way that may be moving faster than anyone expected is some form of payment to players for their “name, image and likeness.”

The NCAA vice president for Division 1 had a video released via Twitter on that Friday:

https://twitter.com/i/broadcasts/1YqJDELjdZDxV

“I think there may be some who are actually surprised, candidly, at how far these recommendations are going and how robust they are,” Lennon said.

But there won’t be a pay-for-play setup.

“You need to have the right parameters to make sure that it is not a pay-for-play model, that we don’t create an employer-employee relationship, that we protect the integrity of the recruiting process,” Lennon said.

Take that however you want.

The most interesting part of these two changes under consideration by the NCAA is not each rule independent of the other but that they are even being mentioned at the same time.

Or they could just save a lot of time and check with Alabama for football, Kentucky in men’s basketball and just go ahead and adopt their recommendations.

That’s usually how these things are enforced anyway.

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