Year of the Free Agent

January 28, 2019

It is 2019. The government is closed. Tom Brady is going to the Superbowl again. Life remains overly expensive. Oh and NCAA athletics are quickly becoming the newest form of free agency. We won’t call it an epidemic, but we will call it a scenario so prominent that they actively are pushing a site for athletes to weigh all their options and transfer. The opportunities to the kids are published and they themselves can be listed for an amateur free-agency pool to coaches. 

 

It truly is quandary to be in as everyone wants to assist in the student athletes making the best possible decision for themselves. Does it set a poor precedent of alternatives when things don’t go according to plan though? Does it present an “easy way out” for people where life doesn’t line up perfectly. It likely will depend on the second half of the equation. Eligibility. The discussion of the infamous hardship waiver reigns supreme right now with no case being more famous than that of the University of Georgia’s Justin Fields and Ohio State University’s Tate Martell. A verbal spat, resulting in two high profile transfers searching for immediate eligibility. If granted eligibility for hardship, in this case essentially emotional distress, prepare for the can of worms to be opened and immediate eligibility being sought by every player who wish to push the envelope. 

 

The most extreme example being 2019 enrollee Bru McCoy (signed with Southern California December 19th and enrolled in classes January 5th). He has since as of January 25th formally transferred to the University of Texas following about 20 days as a student. 

It could break the junior-college football route as they no longer take in a chunk of these players for the year of “in between”. That is just some of the fallout of the now 2,000 + players in the NCAA portal spread across three divisions of NCAA football currently. 

It isn’t set to change any time soon. If anything, expect for it to increase especially as the lack of formal policing and precedent on cases remains a concern. Prepare for the future of collegiate athletics. Prepare, for free agency.

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