Fresh after learning quarterback Shea Patterson will be eligible to play for Michigan this fall, Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh shared his thoughts on how to fix the NCAA transfer process moving forward. Simply put, a school accepting a transfer could pay for a scholarship to the school from where that player is coming.
“Say a school like Michigan gets a player from Eastern Michigan or Central Michigan — maybe you’ve got to pay the scholarship back,” Harbaugh opined with media following the football program in Paris, France, according to MLive.com. “Or transfers — maybe you’ve got to pay the scholarship back?”
That is definitely an interesting concept, and in theory, it could incentivize a program losing a player to move quicker in sorting out the transfer process to allow a player to move to a new school. Patterson eventually won out in a drawn-out transfer battle where Ole Miss was initially reluctant to approve a waiver to allow the former Rebels quarterback to be eligible right away this fall.
Under Harbaugh’s proposed transfer plan, Michigan would be on the hook for covering the cost of a scholarship for Ole Miss. This would bring the college game closer to a professional sports level with one team having to pay another for acquiring a player. Harbaugh is aware that this would blur those lines a bit.
“Just so there doesn’t become free agency in college football,” Harbaugh said, per MLive.com. “That’s the thing I would worry about. But I think scholarships should count as two, or pay back the other school for the money that they have invested, potentially.”
It may be just another idea floated by Harbaugh that may not gain much traction, but sharing new ideas is always a good idea if it leads to a conversation about improving the game and can open the door for a better experience for the player.