One of the more asinine aspects of college football is the fact that head coaches are free to bolt whenever their hearts desire with little more than a financial penalty — a tab normally picked up by the new school — to pay and can coach immediately, while a player who transfers, in most cases, is forced to sit out a season and is subject to severe restrictions placed by the school from which he’s transferring.
Such a situation has, unfortunately, reared its hypocritical head yet again.
First-year Memphis head coach Justin Fuente confirmed in the middle of last month that quarterback Taylor Reed (no relation) “looks to be leaving the football program.” Fuente, though, is not making it easy for the player to leave, at least according to the Reed’s father.
Scott Reed told the Memphis Commercial Appeal Friday that Fuente has placed several restrictions on his son’s release from his scholarship. Reed, the father alleges, is not permitted to transfer to any school in Conference USA (Memphis’ league home this year) or the Big East (Memphis’ home beginning in 2013), nor is he permitted to transfer to area schools such as Arkansas State, Middle Tennessee State and Ole Miss.
Reed will be forced to sit out the 2012 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules, so why he would be barred by Fuente from moving on to a Conference USA school is unknown. The Tigers will face ASU and MTSU each of the next two seasons — MTSU in 2014 as well — although Ole Miss is not on the Tigers’ schedule until 2016, after Reed would’ve moved on from the Rebels.
The head-scratching restrictions have left the Reed family frustrated.
“There are a number of schools that are blocked,” the dad told the paper. ”We expected some schools (to be restricted transfer options), but not this. It is frustrating.”
The Commercial Appeal wrote that “Fuente said he adheres to the common practice of not allowing transfers to other conference schools or non-conference opponents.” That is certainly standard operating procedure at most schools, but it borders on the inexplicable as to why Reed would be barred from transferring to a school in Memphis’ soon-to-be-former conference or a school that’s not on the schedule until after Reed’s eligibility will have expired.
Reed, an El Dorado, Ark., product, started nine games in 2011 as a true freshman, throwing for 1,690 yards and 10 touchdowns. He practiced with the Tigers throughout the spring and was battling transfer Jacob Karam for the starting job.