By: Evan Jankens
Well, Wisconsin is at it again! They got a transfer QB, former Maryland QB Danny O’Brien, who will assumingly start for them this upcoming season. O’Brien is another Russell Wilson-type who graduated from Maryland — even though it was early, he still has two years of eligibility left to play at another division one program. He chose Wisconsin. Maybe I am bitter because they are in the same division as MSU, maybe it’s because I knew Wisconsin was going to be weak at QB with Joe Brennan and Joel Stave the only healthy QB’s on their roster for spring ball. Hey I guess I can’t blame Wisconsin for taking advantage of the situation and at least he didn’t come from playing pro baseball like Wilson did. I just wish this wasn’t even a rule.
The reason I say I wish this wasn’t a rule because it’s unfair to the majority of college athletes. Let’s say I choose to go to Michigan this upcoming year and they offer me a full ride (Hey, this is my blog, not yours.) I get to Michigan, play in the first game and I say to myself ‘I really don’t like this Brady Hoke’ — I can’t just up and leave and play the following year at another university in division one. No I would have to sit out the following year because I transferred. Isn’t transferring the same deal that O’Brien has and he doesn’t have to sit out the year? No, he doesn’t. He is being rewarded for already graduating and Wisconsin having a graduate program that Maryland doesn’t have. Is this a HUGE loop hole? Yes, it is for sure. Why should the kid who goes to one school but then chooses it’s not the right fit for him have to suffer and sit out a full year. I completely understand that kids may take advantage of the deal if they could just transfer year after year. There has to be something that changes in the rule.
You can look at Russell Wilson, who transferred to Wisconsin last year from NC State after spending a year playing professional baseball in the Colorado Rockies minor league system. You might think “didn’t he get paid for playing pro baseball?” Yes he did, but for some reason and I can’t seem to find the reason, he was allowed. Now there was another circumstance that the NCAA didn’t allow another athlete to do the same thing. Enter Jeremy Bloom, who was a WR at Colorado and at the same time was an Olympic skier. The NCAA wouldn’t allow Bloom to compete in the Olympics and play for Colorado. In 2006 Bloom challenged the NCAA to allow him to finish his final two years at Colorado after the Olympics, but the NCAA deemed him permanently ineligible because he accepted sponsor money while competing to make the Olympics. How is that any different from Russell Wilson playing pro ball in the Rockies organization? I’m still waiting for an answer on that one and if you have the answer feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
So is what Wisconsin doing cheating? No, not at all they are simply playing by the rules. I guess I can’t be too upset since Michigan State used the same rule to get Brandon Wood who played 4 years at Valpo before transferring to MSU. In the grand scheme of things, I wish MSU wouldn’t have signed Wood since he really didn’t bring too much to the team and may have hurt the development of young guys on the team but that’s for another blog. I guess what I’m trying to say is the NCAA needs to do something about this, maybe that kid should have to sit out a year just like any other transfer; maybe it would make these kids think twice about taking advantage of the rule. Leave me a comment below and let me know if I’m completely off base, maybe you have another idea or hell maybe I’m right on, either way let me know.