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Big Ten proposes legislation to allow student-athletes to transfer once without penalty

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith is among those who support a one-time transfer.

Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer Press Conference Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

“Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith is among those who support a one-time transfer for all athletes, telling Eleven Warriors in February of 2019 that he felt the change was inevitable.”

— Kevin Harrish, Eleven Warriors

The Big Ten proposed legislation last fall that would allow all student-athletes in every sport to transfer one time without having to sit out a year.

The current rule states that athletes in 20 of the 25 NCAA-sanctioned sports may transfer without penalty. The sports where they are required to sit out a year include football, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s ice hockey, and baseball. This new rule would “essentially allow a one-time free agency period for every student-athlete,” Harrish wrote.

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith told Eleven Warriors that he believes the current process isn’t exactly seamless.

“I’m also open now to being more accepting of the fact that we may get to a point where football and basketball has a one-time transfer exception,” Smith said. “It’s inevitable, in my view. And so, I know that that creates mass chaos to some people, and free agency, but the reality is, the waiver process, it’s a little clunky right now. And if that improves, maybe I’ll feel differently. But I’m really leaning heavily to the one-time transfer.”

The NCAA Board of Directors is still gathering information, data, etc. meaning new legislation will would go into affect no sooner than 2021.

Justin Fields:

Teams on Ohio State’s schedule next season:

On Thursday night, the Ohio State athletic department issued a statement saying that men’s basketball freshman guard D.J. Carton would be taking time away from basketball to “deal with personal matters.”

Shortly after, Carton followed up Ohio State’s announcement with his own, where he explained that he’s taking time off to work on his mental health, saying he’s “not 100% right now.”

Since his tweet, Buckeye fans, athletes, and the general public have shown heaps of support, encouraging him to take all the time that he needs. It’s bigger than basketball, after all— a message Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love knows all too well. Love, who has become an activist for mental health—especially for men— and who has been very open about his own struggles, reached out to Carton on Twitter. He told him to reach out if he needed anything, and that he’s “right up the road.”

Sports are a religion for some fanbases, and Buckeye fans are in that group. But when it comes down to it, our athletes should not have to entertain us at the expense of their health. It was refreshing to see Buckeye Nation’s support for Carton’s decision and its even better to see Carton (and other athletes like Love) setting an example for many, many people that are likely going through the same thing.

It’s good to have Kerry Coombs and his unnecessarily long hashtags back.

“Morale among Ohio State fans following the past eight games couldn’t get much lower. It’s worth noting, however, that every single NCAA tournament expert that releases a bracket throughout the season currently has the Buckeyes in the field of 68.”

— Colin Hass-Hill, Eleven Warriors

The Ohio State men’s basketball is uhhh not winning games. The Buckeyes have a 13-7 overall record and six of those losses came from their last eight games.

Don’t hang your hats yet, though, because Ohio State still has 11 games left in their regular season and Bracket Matrix , who is “arguably the most useful NCAA tournament projection website,” according to Hass-Hill, has Ohio State as a No. 8 seed.

“Rather than using just one person’s opinion, it combines a boatload of brackets and takes the average of the seeds to create an aggregate bracket. Ohio State is a No. 8 seed on Bracket Matrix, and it has an average of an 8.04 seed among the brackets used, ranging from a No. 6 seed on 11 brackets to a No. 11 seed on three of them.”

Most importantly, all 98 brackets cited by Bracket Matrix have the Buckeyes in the NCAA tournament field right now.

So, if the tournament were tomorrow, Ohio State is in.

Except that it’s not, and the team really needs to kick it into gear if they want to maintain their spot. It is important to note that the Buckeyes don’t have to make our jaws drop to get in the tournament, they just have to beat some well-established teams. And they can start by beating Indiana on Saturday.