New NCAA system will make transferring in college golf a lot easier

New NCAA system will make transferring in college golf a lot easier

College

New NCAA system will make transferring in college golf a lot easier

Transferring schools in college golf will soon be as simple as a snap of the finger.

The NCAA’s new “notification-of-transfer” model, which takes effect Oct. 15, allows a student-athlete to inform his or her current school of the desire to transfer, then requires that the school enter the student’s name into a national transfer database within two business days. Once the student’s name is in the database, other coaches are free to reach out.

This stops schools from blocking transfers to certain schools, though conferences may still enforce stricter guidelines.

In a world where following through on commitments has become increasingly rare, the NCAA has made it easier than ever to bail. Sure, there are cases in which it’s more than reasonable to transfer. There are no absolutes in this area. But, as Clemson coach Kelley Hester said, “You have to question whether or not we are making the players more unaccountable.”

A national database means coaches will no longer be in the dark about who is looking for a new opportunity, giving both players and coaches more options. While it’s impossible to say exactly how this will impact the number of transfers, it would make sense that the increased exposure might encourage lesser-known players to take a gamble on getting picked up elsewhere. Top players often have their next step locked up before the rest of the country catches wind of it.

“If you’re strictly speaking information,” said Coastal Carolina men’s coach Jim Garren, “at a program like ours, yes it’s a good thing. We’ve got the No. 1 player in the world (Dustin Johnson), got the beach, one of the best course rotations in the country. For people that might not know about who we are, yeah that’s a good thing.”

Arkansas coach Shauna Estes-Taylor said she hit the transfer lottery in landing Dylan Kim and Kaylee Benton. Both players’ previous schools placed limitations on where they could go next. Transfers played starring roles in the lineups of Arizona and Alabama, the two schools that advanced to the finals of the NCAA Women’s Championship.

Again, there are exceptions. But it seems like folks these days quit too early. Not getting enough playing time? Enough exposure? Don’t like the rules or your teammates? Perhaps it’s better across the fence.

But that’s not how life works. Tough times come at jobs and in relationships. Why can’t college be a place where student-athletes learn how to work through challenges?

It’s risky for coaches to offer tough love these days. Say something a player doesn’t like, and in a flash they’ll shop around for someone with a softer message.

The transfer database is actually a Band-Aid to a bigger problem – early commitments. What a player believes he wants in a college at age 14 can easily change by 17. Not to mention the changes that can take place on a coaching staff or player roster. Waiting longer helps cut down the odds of those changes taking place.

“If we could slow down recruiting,” said Garren, “this would not be an issue.”

The onus is on coaches too.

“Be honest in the recruiting process,” said Estes-Taylor. “Don’t oversell, sell what you have.”

And remember: Frustration often transfers too.

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