In the past few months, the NCAA and its member schools have figured out that their transfer rules make scholarship offers look a lot like employment contracts. So much so, in fact, that Northwestern football players were deemed employees by a regional office of the National Labor Relations Board.
Over the same time period, people have suggested changing the rules that govern how college athletes can change schools, perhaps motivated by recent transfer scandals.
Now, thanks to a Seattle Times interview, we've found the worst one, from University of Washington president Michael K. Young:
"One possibility is, like the pros, you get to designate a franchise player or two," Young said. "(Or) five kids who can't transfer, or if they transfer, they have to sit out a year, and the whole rest of your team is OK. I don't know, I'm just making that stuff (up). We'll have to figure that out."
So in order to fix the NCAA's transfer problems, Young threw out a proposal that universities treat their unpaid employees like paid professionals in the NFL and force them to stay at schools they don't want to be at. Can't imagine any lawsuits coming from that!
Young admits he's just floating random ideas out there, so we should probably give him the benefit of the doubt and not lump him in with other NCAA presidents saying dumb things. But if Young is ever asked about this idea in a more official setting, he should probably not brainstorm in public.
Actually, considering that he's publicly disagreeing with the NCAA's arguments just before the biggest trial in college sports history, the NCAA would probably prefer he stop talking altogether.
(Also, one thing that actually might help fix transfer rules is the union push itself.)