Grad transfer exception gains in popularity, scrutiny
In this world of immediate gratification, there’s nothing better for a college basketball transfer than knowing that he’ll be able to play immediately at his new school.
There’s one sure-fire way to do it. Graduate students who have not previously transferred can use the one-time transfer exception to play right away at their new school. If a player has completed his undergraduate coursework and has a year of eligibility remaining, he’s good to go. No waiver is necessary — a change implemented at the start of the 2011-12 season, according to the NCAA — so it’s easier than ever for graduates to play immediately.
Former Xavier guard Mark Lyons used the exception. This season, he’ll play at Arizona for the coach who originally recruited him to the Musketeers, Sean Miller. Former Louisville forward Jared Swopshire will play at Northwestern this season, too. Same exception, same result.
Last season, 15 college basketball players played as graduate student transfers — including Brandon Wood, who graduated from Valparaiso and then played at Michigan State.
“Sometimes, in life you have to make selfish decisions,” Wood told USA TODAY Sports this spring. “If players handle their business and do what they have to do in the classroom and have the opportunity to do this, take advantage of this rule to better themselves, then I think it’s something people should look into doing.”