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Kellogg: We Should Find Out Why Student-Athletes Are Transferring

March 08, 2018 - 10:51 am

On Monday, Memphis coach Tubby Smith railed against student-athlete transfers, saying that college basketball is teaching players “how to quit.” Smith said that the rise in transfers – there were roughly 800 in Division I last year – is sending the wrong message.

Is he right?

“This is a multi-layered deal like most things are,” CBS Sports college basketball analyst Clark Kellogg said on Taz & The Moose. “It’s easy to fly off and make emotional comments. I respect and evaluate every point of view on this. I have a couple. One is anywhere we can empower student-athletes to make decisions to grow and develop, I think, is important. Part of that is determining whether or not a school they’ve chosen is the right fit for them.”



Still, it seems there are a number of athletes transferring for non-educational reasons. Others, meanwhile, are taking advantage of the graduate-transfer rule.

“The graduate-transfer rule was designed, at least in theory, (for) a guy having a year of eligibility left, perhaps wanting to get graduate education work done and the school not having the program he was looking for,” Kellogg said. “We know that has been a facade. That part of it disheartens me.”

Some student-athletes pursue and receive graduate degrees, but many become, in essence, “one-year hires.”

“I’m not saying that players shouldn’t have that option,” Kellogg said, “but if graduate education is supposed to be part of the equation, how many have moved on to get graduate degrees or made meaningful progress toward them? The empowerment of the student-athlete is important. They should have the option to transfer. The way it’s happening and what’s motivating it, I want to take a deeper look at that.

“So I’m on both ides a bit,” Kellogg continued. “I’m disheartened by the number of kids who are leaving because the head wind in their current circumstance is a little tougher than they anticipated or not quite as easy as they thought, be it playing time, be it waiting your turn, be it the environment they’re in. There could be any number of factors. . . . I’m all for (empowering student-athletes), but I also think there’s some value in sometimes working through some of that adversity because that’s part of growth and development. With 800+, it would be interesting to take a look or a survey as to what the motivation is.”