Tom Herman’s first season at Houston was a rousing success. His Cougars won the Peach Bowl after taking their first conference title in nine years. He’s also quite the outspoken man and he’s set his sights on the NCAA transfer rules.
After Kirby Smart publicly said no current Georgia Bulldogs would be allowed to transfer to Miami to join their former coach Mark Richt, which was in stark contrast to Richt’s policy of “life’s too short”. On the “Paul Finebaum Show” on Thursday, Herman sided with Richt and took his thoughts one step further.
“People forget I spent six years coaching I-AA football, or FCS football. We made a living on four-year transfers that were not happy in their current situation and wanted a new lease on their football career. I’m into student-athlete welfare. I think that, as much as we want the exterior to look like a young man is going to pick a school based on the school and the school alone and it have nothing to do with the people, I think that’s living with our head in the sand a little bit. I think that the current transfer standards are okay where they’re at. If you’re asking my opinion how could they be changed or benefit the student-athlete if there is a coaching change a student-athlete should be able to leave on his own accord and be eligible immediately. If the student-athlete is just plain and simple unhappy and wants to go somewhere else then I think a one-year cooling off period to make sure you understand what you’re doing and what you’re doing is going to cost you a year of eligibility is fair but if a coaching change does happen and the people in that young man’s life do change I think he should have every right to go wherever he wants.”
This opinion is quite popular with fans and the media but not quite a beloved one among the coaching fraternity and college administrators, for obvious reasons. Allowing this would basically create a free-for-all, albeit a fun free-for-all.
Has Herman received pushback from the top for this view?
“I don’t know that it’s administrators as much as it is our governing body, the NCAA and the threat to the student-athlete model and the amateurism model, at least they perceive that that would threaten. To me, that isn’t a threat, that’s in the best interest of the student-athlete, which is what the NCAA’s mission, us as coaches, our mission should always be, and that’s the best interest of our student-athletes.”
As the NCAA’s broken system gets more and more exposed, it’s not a surprise that some coaches would become outspoken for a rule like this, which would grant much more freedom for players. But it’s highly unlikely we’ll ever see it come to fruition.