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How would proposed NCAA transfer rule changes affect Ohio State?

The Buckeyes have already been at both ends of the transfer portal

Big Ten Football Championship - Ohio State v Wisconsin Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

“Working group members believe it’s time to bring our transfer rules more in line with today’s college landscape. This concept provides a uniform approach that is understandable, predictable and objective. Most importantly, it benefits students.”

- Mid-American Conference commissioner Jon Steinbrecher via the NCAA

The NCAA announced on Tuesday that a DI Transfer Waiver Working Group was working on a proposal that would make student-athletes immediately eligible after their first transfer, regardless of the sport. The waiver criteria would be approved in cases where a student-athlete receives a transfer release from their previous school, leaves academically eligible, maintains academic progress at their new school and leaves under no disciplinary suspension, according to the working group.

The proposed change comes about a year and a half removed from the creation of the transfer portal, which has provided an avenue for student-athletes to submit their name and allow contact from other coaches and programs. Seeking feedback from DI members through student-athlete representatives, conference offices, coaching organizations and others prior to the Council’s meeting in April, the group’s goal is to have the rule implemented for transfers in the 2020-21 academic year.

Just how would this proposed rule chance impact Ohio State? Well, for one we have already how the Buckeyes have been affected by the transfer portal. At times it has been a godsend, bringing players to Columbus like former Georgia quarterback Justin Fields and former Rutgers offensive lineman Jonah Jackson. On the flip side, it has taken away some players that could have provided depth or even started at some point, most notably including guys like defensive backs Isaiah Pryor and Brendon White as well as quarterbacks Matthew Baldwin and Tate Martell.

While both Fields and Jackson were granted eligibility waivers, that is not always the case, and under the new system the worry of having to potentially sit out a full season upon transferring would be removed. It almost makes the transfer portal a bit like a second level of recruiting, where you have to keep an eye out for potential talents looking for a new home while also having to keep track of guys on your own roster that may consider leaving. The new rules would be greatly beneficial to student-athletes, but it may provide a bit more work for people like Ryan Day.

On the other hand, it would have had major implications for Ohio State’s basketball team. Point guard CJ Walker had to miss all of last season after transferring from Florida State, and could have been a big upgrade at his position should he have not had to sit. This season, Justice Sueing has rode the pine all year after leaving California, and as the leading scorer for the Golden Bears last season, would be a huge piece for the Buckeyes if eligible.

Either way, college coaches should be prepared for the upcoming rule change, as it looks increasingly likely to be put into effect sooner rather than later.

ESPN released its second edition of its way-too-early Top 25 rankings for the 2020 season, and while Ohio State stayed put at No. 2, there was a good amount of shuffling within the top 10.

While Clemson remained at the top spot, the defending champs took a big hit. LSU was ranked at No. 4 in the initial rankings, with the obvious exit of Joe Burrow upcoming. However, since that first list was released, the Tigers have lost RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, WR Justin Jefferson and their leading tackler Jacob Phillips all to the NFL Draft. In addition, passing coordinator Joe Brady, a man vital to the success of Burrow and the entire LSU offense, left to take the Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator job. As a result of the mass exodus, LSU has now dropped down to No. 8.

Penn State, initially ranked No. 9, has jumped all the way up to No. 5, making the meeting between the Nittany Lions and Ohio State in Beaver Stadium look that much more daunting. The Buckeyes’ second opponent of the season, Oregon, dropped down one spot from No. 5 to No. 6, while Georgia moved up from No. 6 to LSU’s previous spot at No. 4.

Other Big Ten teams in the newest rankings include Wisconsin at No. 13, Michigan at No. 15, Minnesota at No. 16 and Iowa at No. 20.

Ohio State basketball is desperately trying to right the ship from what was an abysmal start to Big Ten play. After starting the year 2-6 in conference, the Buckeyes have since won five of their last six games to move back to an even 7-7 in the B1G. They have had to do it all without freshman point guard D.J. Carton, who has taken a leave of absence from the team to focus on his mental health.

While some had speculated that Carton may rejoin the team this week when Ohio State heads to Iowa, as that is currently where Carton is situated with his family, head coach Chris Holtmann put that notion to bed right away.

“No,” said Holtmann. “There’s a lot that has to happen before that’s even a consideration. I’m hopeful that we can get him on a path toward improved health.”

While Holtmann did not entirely rule out the possibility that Carton returns at some point this season, he did admit that it is not something that is just going to happen overnight. When the guard determines that he is ready to rejoin the team, it will be a process in getting him back up to game speed and on the same page as the rest of his teammates, and with the season winding down rapidly, there may not be enough time left for that to happen in 2020.

Hopefully Carton can get his head right soon and get back with the Buckeyes. Whether that comes sometime this season or at some point in the future, the talented freshman will obviously be welcomed back with open arms, and has the full support of his coaches, teammates and the fans.

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