The new landscape of college athletics has a lot of powerful people very scared. The introduction of NIL and the transfer portal, while not perfect and still working out the kinks, has evened the playing field for student-athletes when it comes to having control over their careers and getting a slice of the very lucrative pie that their efforts create.
For every Mike Brey who thinks that college admins and coaches need to “shut up and adjust,” there seem to be a dozen people who think the sky is falling. And the solution that many of these very wealthy people always seem to suggest is to revert back to the way things were.
That’s what Iowa Hawkeyes AD Gary Barta is suggesting. Barta recently said that he wants to see college sports revert to its old rule that transfer students need to sit out an entire season.
“If we can’t totally control name, image, and likeness, then let’s go back and put a one year … if you transfer, you can transfer, you don’t have to lose your scholarship,” Barta said Thursday on the school’s Fight For Iowa Podcast. “But you must sit out a year because we can control that, and that, I think, would slow down the name, image, and likeness deals.
“A booster isn’t going to offer a student-athlete a big sum of money if they know if they come to their university, they have to sit out a year. But at the same time, once the student is there, they can put together a name, image, and likeness package that they benefit from.”
Barta went one step further and said if it were up to him, student-athletes would have to essentially pledge their allegiance to the school, which will then allow them to transfer.
“One of my partial solutions is once the student-athlete signs that scholarship agreement, he or she is now committed to the University of Iowa. We’ll allow them to transfer, but they have to sit out a year. That’s my answer to holding some sort of accountability. So, it goes both ways.”
It’s unclear how Barta’s idea “goes both ways.” It certainly sounds like he wants a return to the days when the schools had all the power, which is exactly why the dam broke and we now have systems in place to allow student-athletes to benefit more fairly from the business of college sports.
Not to mention that the sit-out-a-year rule was stopped, in part, to avoid antitrust issues by limiting a student’s ability to transfer, especially when there’s potential income involved. The idea that the NCAA would go back to that is a legal nightmare waiting to happen.
Barta’s out-of-touch ideas touched a nerve on social media as reactions rolled in from the NCAA world.
Neat idea, definitely all about the kids.
Additionally, coaches, ADs and administrators should now have to sit out two years before switching jobs since they don’t even have an eligibility window to worry about. You won’t have any issue with that, right? https://t.co/cvoRyR0Fle
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) May 12, 2022
What a silly conceit mainly because boosters will still pay guys even if they have to wait a year. https://t.co/f0lWXfCGI9
— BHGPortaladdicts (@BHGP) May 12, 2022
This is somehow a bingo card that includes taking an athlete's rights away on 2 fronts: Their ability to transfer without penalty & their market value.
How are leaders in athletics still advocating this way? Look for forward-thinking solutions instead of living in the past. https://t.co/hNimwS610Y
— Chris Hummer (@chris_hummer) May 12, 2022
The first Big Ten West coach or administrator that fully embraces NIL and the transfer portal will have a stranglehold on the division for the foreseeable future. Iowa and Wisconsin are doing the…opposite of embracing. https://t.co/GiFpCOp5Xl
— Bucky’s 5th Quarter (@B5Q) May 12, 2022
Amazing how such highly accomplished people can be in such utter denial of reality.
Maybe talk to a lawyer first?https://t.co/rD2Nuc3TW3
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) May 12, 2022
As Stewart notes, there are antitrust issues with limiting a college athlete’s ability to freely transfer, especially when it’s done to prevent athletes from making money.
The transfer rule was just changed to address the antitrust concerns. It’s not going to be changed back. https://t.co/Pmsc9rilQ2
— Mit Winter (@WinterSportsLaw) May 12, 2022
If there's one thing Gary Barta has never learned, it's that you should sometimes talk to a lawyer first. https://t.co/Az1Gd714pC
— Ivan Bologna Is All Elite (@PV_GIA) May 12, 2022