Is blocking transfers okay?

With the college season ending we now move on to the transfer season.  The number fluctuates each year but is now roughly anywhere from 10-30% of college basketball players transfer each season.  This is an eye popping rate and begs the question, should coaches be able to block certain schools?

The issue gets notoriety every off season.  Coaches change jobs or get fired and players weant to leave.  Players don’t like their role, direction of the program or playing style and decide to bolt.  Coaches get mad and try to limit their options.  Right now Washington State is attempting to block the transfer of Valentine Izundu to Sand Diego St.  Ernie Kent feels that SDSU might have tampered.  Valpo is attempting to block the transfer of David Skara to Vanderbilt, attempting to follow his former coach Bryce Drew.

These attempts very rarely end well for the school attempting to block them.  Players will often “lawyer up” and get the restriction removed, much like Austin Nichols did this past year when Memphis attempted to limit his options.  

So should coaches block them?  Probably not.  All it does is make coaches look petty and cause a PR nightmare for the school.  Most coaches don’t want to have to re-recruit their kids every off season and I get that.  I don’t have a problem with blocking a kid going to a competitor in your league.  I also don’t think a player should be eligible right away if they leave before they graduate.  Blocking a kid outside those parameters just isn’t worth it.  It takes time and resources that neither side really needs to deal with and transferring is clearly within the rules.  The rate of kids leaving is large but that goes both ways.  Coaches run kids off to free up space every year so why shouldn’t a kid exercise his right to move on as well.  If a coach treats a kid right then a transfer isn’t likely, but if he doesn’t why should a kid be penalized?  Lastly, if a kid doesn’t want to be there then why should a coach keep him.  Forcing young adults into situations they don’t want to be in rarely works out for either side.

​It is high time to end the blocking of transfers and focus on what you as a coach can control.

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