How NCAA's Proposed Transfer Rules Might Affect NBA Prospects

Jonathan WassermanNBA Lead WriterJanuary 6, 2013

Jan 25, 2012; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs guard Rodney Hood (4) carries the ball up the court during the game against the LSU Tigers  at the Humphrey Coliseum.  Mississippi State Bulldogs defeated the LSU Tigers 76-71.  Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports
Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

With news that the NCAA is considering adopting a new transfer model, we could be looking at an unprecedented era in college basketball. 

The rule would allow any college athlete with a 2.6 GPA to transfer schools and gain immediate eligibility. Normally a transfer has to redshirt, or sit out an entire year to prevent students from resembling unrestricted free agents, which is exactly what's about to happen assuming this rule goes into effect. 

The rule is being considered to eliminate the inconsistencies surrounding the transfer guidelines, where there's too much gray area (waivers and exceptions) in determining what transfer can play immediately and who must sit.

While this new model will draw criticism from many who believe the NCAA is jeopardizing the integrity of the college game, those with NBA aspirations may not seem to care.

By allowing a player to transfer and play immediately, the NCAA will be making it easy for young prospects to get out of an ugly situation. When a player commits to a school, they won't be locked in as tightly.

Sometimes a kid doesn't find out til he gets to school that the team's style isn't suited to showcase his strengths.

A few years ago, Josh Selby, one of the top high school recruits, committed to play at Kansas. With veterans in front of him and an offense that gave him minimal creative freedom, Selby struggled to produce consistent results on the floor.

But instead of transferring, which could have delayed his trip to the pros by two years, Selby rode it out and entered the NBA draft as soon as he could. Without proving much of anything in his freshman year, Selby slipped to No. 49 in the second round.

With this new rule, NBA prospects who find themselves buried on depth charts or as poor fits with the program will have an opportunity try their luck elsewhere—quickly.

Everything becomes less permanent. This new model gives NBA prospects additional chances to make a statement to scouts and evaluators. It also gives them more of a reason to jump ship if waters get choppy.

Whether that's a good thing for the game or a bad one is debatable. But it gives the typical NBA prospect who's fighting for a professional career an extra life to play with if he can keep his GPA up.