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TCU coach Gary Patterson 'disappointed' with immediate-eligibility transfer proposal

TCU coach Gary Patterson is the AFCA president this year. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

TCU coach Gary Patterson isn’t too keen on players being able to transfer immediately.

Patterson said Monday after TCU’s spring practice that he was “disappointed” in a current transfer proposal that could be implemented as soon as 2020-21. Players in all sports including football and basketball could get a one-time transfer exemption that allows them to switch schools without sitting out a year of competition. Conferences like the Big Ten and ACC support the proposal. The NCAA’s Division I Transfer Waiver Working Group supports it, too.

From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

“I’m disappointed in it, to be honest with you,” Patterson said following his team’s third spring practice on Monday. “I think they’re going to find out they wouldn’t want it to be their kids that you didn’t want a coach to grow them up. Every time it didn’t go well for them, they could just leave.

“All these senators and legislators, they all think this is the greatest thing that ever happened to the kids? They’ll all see and they’ll find out. It’s like basketball. I’m sad for basketball because you guys all hear about a couple guys, you don’t hear about all the ones that don’t get as good of a scholarship or don’t get anything at all and they get left out and they don’t get an education.”

Coaches leave all the time when they realize that things could go even better at a new job. And they’re also getting paid too, unlike the players. But we all know this, including Patterson. There’s no need to rehash that.

Patterson’s voice on this matter carries weight because he’s the current American Football Coaches Association president. He said that an immediate transfer exemption — which would only be allowed under the current proposal for players who are in good academic standing and not facing any disciplinary issues at their current school — would be seen as an easy way out of sorts for players.

“All the guys who become great, just like you guys, how did you become better? Through the process of learning how to write an article, how to do things, you went through all the goods and bads,” Patterson told reporters Monday. “There’s parts of being able to move that is good for guys, but there’s a lot more worse things because guys are going to transfer because it’s the easiest thing. That’s not what makes you good.”

Patterson does have a point there, even if it’s buried a bit. There’s a lot to be said for persevering through tough times and how you can learn from the experiences. But assuming that it’s automatically an easy decision for a player to start over at a new school is an extremely broad one. It can be extremely hard for a young person, or any person for that matter, to leave his or her current environment for a new one. It’s a type of decision that isn’t typically made on a whim.

And besides, players in a lot of other college sports currently get immediate eligibility after transferring. What football and basketball coaches could experience as soon as next season are simply what coaches in other non-revenue college sports have been dealing with for years.

“It’s generally worked in a favorable way in the sports that have it,” ACC commissioner John Swofford told The Athletic in an article published last week. “That makes us believe it certainly can work in all sports. I know if it occurs it’ll make roster management more of a challenge for coaches and programs, but our group felt like that can be managed. Anytime there’s significant change with something like this, there’s a tendency to go through the worst-case scenario and believe the sky’s falling.”

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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