Wading through the aftermath churned up in the wake of the NCAA’s sanctions on Penn State, we wrote that “the NCAA has declared it’s open season on any and all current or incoming Penn State players, essentially creating a free-agent frenzy that has the potential to utterly dwarf what transpired at USC three years ago.”
CBSSports.com‘s Bruce Feldman wrote that “a feeding frenzy” has already begun in major college football, with FBS programs openly — albeit anonymously — acknowledging that their programs have already faxed to Penn State the names of current players in which they’re interested.
Ironically enough, the first specific reference connecting a current PSU player to a potential transfer destination is to a school that, up until today’s penalties were announced, had faced the most punitive measures handed down by the NCAA since SMU’s death penalty.
As ESPN.com‘s Joe Schad writes, “USC has notified Penn State of its interest in running back Silas Redd.”
That, of course, would be the same USC that’s coming off a two-year bowl ban and a reduction of 30 scholarships over three years thanks to the Reggie Bush impermissible benefits fiasco. And a Trojan program that saw, as a part of the NCAA’s punitive measures in that case, players who were either juniors or seniors in 2010 being permitted to transfer and play immediately at a new program.
A half-dozen or so Trojans took advantage of that loosening of transfer restrictions, none of them projected starters. It remains unclear how many Nittany Lions, starters or otherwise, will take advantage of a similar loosening, although Penn State is at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to that part of the punitive measures; any and all current players regardless of class standing as well as incoming freshmen are permitted to transfer without restriction.
The immediate eligibility for Redd, and the immediate need for help at the running back position for USC, however, would appear to make this speculation an on-paper match made in football heaven. And a match that someone very close to Redd would not be adverse to in theory, with the back’s father reportedly stating that it’s his son’s decision whether or not to transfer and he will not stand in the way of whatever’s decided.
Last season, Redd led the Nittany Lions in rushing yards (1,241) and rushing touchdowns (nine). So, yes, given a team with title aspirations and a glaring hole at the position, a player the caliber of Redd — with two years of eligibility remaining to boot — would make perfect sense to pursue.