Kansas, Transfers, And The Very Familiar Brock Berglund Problem

This isn't entirely Kansas' fault. Exact percentages in these kind of affairs are hard to come by, so let's just say that freshman quarterback Brock Berglund should not have missed team meetings, and therefore gotten himself dismissed from the team. That accounts for what I would rate as a very arbitrary 10 percent of the problem. Adjust this number accordingly to conform with your worldview.

The remaining 90 percent sits with Kansas and the NCAA's rules regarding athletes and transfers. Berglund has reasons to transfer: a new coach who did not recruit him, a fresh pair of transfers coming in with prior connections, and the opportunity to play immediately elsewhere are all possibilities. Add to this Kansas' current unwillingness to allow him to transfer, and now the NCAA's rubber stamp of that refusal, and you have a player with nowhere to go, and no options but further pleading with an institution with absolute control over his current playing rights.

That absolute control is the issue at stake here. Kansas may be working out the specific details of his transfer, but in theory they could kill years of his possible playing career on a whim should they want to because...well, because they feel like it. This possibility alone damns the current rules and their emphasis on near absolute power for the schools, and little for players. The sitting out a year penalty has never made sense, and never will unless the schools suddenly become people, and develop hurt feelings and a bro-code about dating each other's recruits after an acceptable waiting period. (Seriously, most transfer rules put forth by the NCAA sound like they were written by insecure 18-year-old men just discovering the perils of dating.)

Even if Kansas does allow Berglund to transfer, they can prohibit him as they like, insisting he not play for certain schools in conference, or entire conferences if they like. No other labor market in the United States would bear this kind of behavior under even apprentice contracts, but the NCAA continues to not only tolerate it, but embrace it. Save the typical comparisons of indenture, slavery, or black market labor: at the very least, the transfer rules governing college football are grossly unfair to the student-athlete, and need to be burnt to the ground for enabling 19th-century labor practices in a 21st-century environment.

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