Recent Transfer Insight/Discussion

Submitted by markinmsp on November 7th, 2018 at 7:31 AM

 Have a question and have heard the same voiced by others. Though haven't found any clear answers dealing with the actual mechanics and timing of recent transfers. I'm not talking playing time, personal reasons or the like, get that.

 What I don't get about all these recent transfers is,.. Why NOW?   Why transfer towards the end of a season? What benefit is there to do it prior to season's end? Its not end of term, so any credits transfer, or allow you to reset this season's eligibility, is there?

 Anyone with knowledge of this or insight? I understand new transfer methodology and now existence of "transfer data base list", still it will be there end of term or season, right? Is it just because its a "shiny new object" and everyone wants to use it?


4th and Go For It

November 7th, 2018 at 7:40 AM ^

It’s an incredible workload to be a student athlete. Lifting, practice, film, travel on top of course work and trying to have a fun college experience. I’m sure you can’t come in and practice half-assed on a Jim Harbaugh team. If your heart isn’t in it and you want to move on it’s probably best for everybody to do that sooner than later. Not sure it’s more complicated than that. The transfer database thing may be more important for certain players or positions? I can’t speak to that.


November 7th, 2018 at 7:48 AM ^

I have no knowledge, but I imagine no two cases are the same. That being said, if I had to guess I would say that it’s just difficult to stay motivated in an environment where your coaches do not think you are performing at a level needed to move up the depth chart.  just the freedom of not having to go through grueling practices that don’t seem to lead to anything may be incentive enough. The parallel in the corporate world is someone choosing to leave a company when they get passed up for a promotion by a peer. You could stay, but sometimes pride and motivation suffer and the best thing to do is cut your losses and move on. 


November 7th, 2018 at 8:53 AM ^

Agree with the corporate analogy.  And quite frankly - and I don't mean this as a negative at all - the team/company is better of without people who are admittedly struggling to stay motivated over the long term.  Good luck to the player/employee that moves on, but unless there's massive attrition (or more to an individual's story) it shouldn't be a concern for the teams/employers.  


November 7th, 2018 at 11:19 AM ^

True.... I was speaking of guys not on the 2 deep as many of the recent transfers have not been.  To parallel that to a corporate world, these are not decision makers or people in key roles.  Might have potential, but if they see they are not and will not be utilized and can't stay motivated as a result - then leave.  

If they want to get a jump on another gig, there's no time like the present and players can't talk to outside coaches and find a fit while they're on a roster.  


November 7th, 2018 at 9:34 AM ^

I'm not sure I agree with your corporate analogy.  Football is a season that lasts August-December, whereas a corporation exists year round.  Presumably, most of the players who transfer mid-season want to continue playing football.  By leaving in the middle of the five months and not being able to join a new team until the next semester (or longer), you're missing out on practices/game prep.  Presumably, this is where football players learn the most.  

From a mindset perspective, I understand the disappointment of being passed up.  But it seems like it'd be in players' best interest to continue practicing/playing with the team.  That said, I agree with some of the other points made re: the challenges of being a student athlete.

The Maizer

November 7th, 2018 at 9:02 AM ^

This is correct, but not just because of the spring semester timing. Also, with the new early signing period, schools will have their scholarships allotted much sooner. A player that waits until January to start the transfer process is going to have theoretically fewer schools with open spots for them.

Communist Football

November 7th, 2018 at 7:53 AM ^

Echoing what others have said -- the student-athlete workload is extremely demanding, mentally and physically. If you're not going to play, why practice, they think. Obviously, if you're not practicing, you're not getting better, but ultimately the mental break from the intensity can be attractive I'm sure.

Hail Harbo

November 7th, 2018 at 7:57 AM ^

I've no special insight, but I wouldn't be surprised that the December 19th signing date is what is now driving student athletes to make their intentions clear as soon as they are determined.  After all, the transfer student will be competing for a scholarship spot along with all the HS prospects.  He leaves as soon as possible so that he's on the recruiting radar as soon as possible.  


November 7th, 2018 at 8:09 AM ^

This is another good point. It bothers me is that several folks on this thread went immediately to kids being unable to handle it or unwilling to work. What about kids just doing what's best for their future? What about a program that is open with their kids so that they can know ahead of time and be more proactive with what'sbest for their future?

The Maizer

November 7th, 2018 at 9:05 AM ^

I'm not convinced it's a benefit for transfers. Schools will have a clearer idea of their roster before winter semester, yes, but they'll also likely have fewer spots because of the early signing date. I would think that it makes post-season transfers more difficult as there will be fewer options.

Mr Miggle

November 7th, 2018 at 9:34 AM ^

I don't think that's true.

1. These transfers are getting into the database well before the December signing date. 

2. Coaches that prefer the transfer to a recruit will still take the transfer.

3. Coaches that prefer a recruit, but would take the transfer as a backup plan have a clearer idea of their recruiting class. While some will be full, some will have openings. That's much better for transfers than everyone either being full or uncertain.

4. Transfers can still wait until after the semester. They're just getting an extra opportunity.


The Maizer

November 7th, 2018 at 10:16 AM ^

I still don't agree. Transfers that wait until after the semester are in a worse position than if there were no early signing period because coaches will have already signed their backup plan HS recruits in December. I'd argue that your "extra opportunity" is not significantly different than the old rule opportunity with regard to a coach's uncertainty (therefore not really increasing their opportunities) and further, it only applies to mid-season transfers. The biggest effect on transfers here is they have to decide to leave their programs sooner or they will limit their options. That doesn't seem like a benefit to them.


November 7th, 2018 at 8:08 AM ^

When a player announces that they are leaving the team and transferring, are they generally allowed to complete the current semester? I would think yes but want to know if anyone knows for sure. And if they are allowed to do so, how many actually do finish off current classes? I would imagine some would think that it's not worth it to keep going this year and drop out.


November 7th, 2018 at 8:13 AM ^

No insight, but I can think of a few reasons:

1) Preserve redshirt

2) Kids don't like the school and want to go home

3) Kids don't like their coaches and /or teammates

4) Homesick/ don't fit the culture of the team or school

5) Realize they aren't good enough to play at the P5 level and/ or want to coast and enjoy other aspects of college.

Now that we are old, we would all choose to ride the bench and enjoy an opportunity to win a B1G Championship and maybe more. It's a no brainer, but as a 18 year old kid, we all thought the opportunity would come again or wasn't a big deal (fucking depressing).


November 7th, 2018 at 9:31 AM ^

Preserving the redshirt is a red herring unless they're graduating, and I don't think any of Michigan's recent transfers are doing so.

That's because they're still required to sit out a year at their new school (assuming it's Division I), and they're still bound by the NCAA's five-years-to-play-four policy.  Anyone who has redshirted and then transfers before they graduate will get a total of three years of eligibility.


November 7th, 2018 at 9:45 AM ^

Injury would be a big reason.  You get an ACL "practicing" or playing on scout team, your chance of finding a new home is going to be drastically reduced.


November 7th, 2018 at 10:07 AM ^

There are two compelling reasons to transfer early.

1) Entering your name in the national database

    - Schools/kids can start to converse earlier (legally)

    - Schools know their scholarship availability (some may be available)

    - Schools can account for transfers in their recruiting planning/cycles (numbers game)

2) The NCAA clock on completing your eligibility is always ticking (there are exceptions)



November 7th, 2018 at 11:11 AM ^

I’m going to say this without trying to sound snarky. 

They transfer when they feel like it. If I know right now I’m going to transfer, why would I wait? 

You say what’s the benefit in doing it now, well I ask what the benefit is in waiting? Why wait until the season is over? 


Ultimately it’s their choice whether to transfer or not. And also their choice when to transfer

The Maizer

November 7th, 2018 at 11:29 AM ^

If you decide to start looking for a new job, do you tell your current boss right away? This is not a perfect parallel, but there could be benefits to waiting to tell everyone, such as access to coaching/trainers/equipment/tutors, relationships with coaches/players/fans, the ability to change one's mind, the chance for more playing time to open up, etc. I think the benefits for announcing the intentions early probably warrant the consequences (and it's also beneficial for the program to know it), but to say there is zero potential downside is probably not always the case.


November 7th, 2018 at 2:51 PM ^

When I started looking for a new job, I did in fact tell my boss right away.  She understood my reasons (lack of upward mobility in my current position — being buried on the depth chart so to speak), and was supportive, reaching out to her connections and giving me a reference as I found a new landing place.

So to continue your analogy, it can very much make sense to be open about it.  If you’ve got a good relationship with your coaches, it is not impossible they can help you find your new school.  Certainly that isn’t the case for every player, but if player and coach both feel the best option is a transfer, then it’s mutually beneficial to work together towards that outcome.


November 7th, 2018 at 2:14 PM ^

It is hard to know without someone actually stating why.

1. Playing time is certainly a factor.

2. Type of playing time is also a big factor for some of these kids - they are used to being the focus of their team, and now being a special team or even a demonstration team player is a hard blow to their ego.

3. I get the notion that the kids who really believe they have pro-potential wants to go some place to play and get credible plays on video. Troy Aikman transferred to UCLA, and look at what Shea Patterson has done.

4. For other kids who don't have much or any pro potential, I guess it is up to them to weigh what they are after - many could I suspect contribute as a special teams player - they are fast and strong, but do they want to do that? Is being a 3rd or 4th level player on a team that contends for a conference title or more enough? Or would they rather play as the 1st or 2nd string on a lesser team? 

5. Many other posters have noted that if they were as old men/women making this decision, they would prefer to be here at Michigan, but we aren't 17-19  year old. Michigan has a long history of players who came here with high athletic hopes but had peaked. Many did go on to success away from athletics - Jim Hackett - one of Bo's former OL for example.