FanPost

Russell Wilson Rule

To those of you who have been living under a rock recently, the so-called "Russell Wilson Rule" is a small loophole in the NCAA transfer rules that says that a student athlete who has completed his Bachelor's degree and still has one or more years of eligibility remaining can leave his current Div 1 insitution and can transfer to another Div 1 institution for graduate school on an athletic scholarship and can play without having to sit out a year. This is provided he enrolls in a graduate program that is not offered at his original school. To my knowledge this is the only situation where a student athlete can transfer to another Div 1 school without having to sit out a year. (This of course primarily applies to Men's FB and BB. I'm not sure how it applies to the non-revenue sports). Maryland has recently been the loser (Danny Obrien) and the winner (Logan Aronholt) under this rule. Apparently this rule has engendered some controversy and I think it would be something worth discussing.

At first glance this rule seems to me to be a good one. If you have an athlete who truly is a "student-athlete" and finishes his degree ahead of schedule, he can be rewarded for his hard work with an opportunity to get graduate school paid for as well. Logan Aronholt is a perfect example of this. He really has no NBA prospects. He is an excellent student and wants to study kinesiology, which is a subject that his previous school, Albany, doesn't offer. Win-win for all concerned (except maybe the Albany basketball team). Now Danny Obrien's situation is a little more muddled. He obviously does have pro aspirations, and you could say his move was more fueled by a desire to improve his draft prospects rather than a desire to study whatever it is he'll be studying. Nonetheless I have no hard feelings toward Danny, and he DID graduate early and since we all know that the NCAA is all about education and nothing else, it seems a nice reward.

In the article I linked above some people complain about possible abuses. Apparently some guy named Jeremiah Masioli transferred from Oregon to Ole Miss just in time to avoid a suspension at Oregon. The SEC has banned such transfers, supposedly because of the risk of abuse, but I think they're afraid that a transfer might infect their other palyers, causing them to actually go to class or something (the horror). My opinion is that any policy can be abused in some way. Lord knows the NCAA knows about that. It's nice to see even a few players get some power for a change. Any thoughts?

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