Sunday night was the latest example of how the new NCAA immediate eligibility rule will favor blueblood programs. Former West Virginia safety Tykee Smith chose to transfer to Georgia after deciding to leave WVU and follow former Mountaineer assistant coach Jahmile Addae.
Seeing players transfer to a new school is nothing new. This has been going on for years and years but since the transfer portal officially became a thing a couple of years ago, it has begun to spiral out of control. Rarely did you see a player of Tykee Smith's caliber transfer out of a program in which he was a starter for the first two years he was on campus - same with corner Dreshun Miller who transferred from WVU to Auburn earlier this offseason. However, the old transfer rule being thrown out increases the likelihood of there being more transfers, specifically to big-time programs.
Coaches leave all the time and don't have to sit out a year, so why should the athletes? I agree that they should be able to play right away, however, it doesn't give them an incentive to stay right where they are. If they get passed on by the national powers out of high school, they can go to a middling program such as WVU, establish themselves as a quality college football player, then hit the portal and latch onto a bigger program.
How do we fix this? To be honest, I'm not sure there is a such thing as a perfect solution and with no perfect solution, that's going to keep Power Five programs like West Virginia from ever being able to compete for a spot in the College Football Playoff. The competitive balance in college football is already uneven and it does not appear that we will see that improve anytime soon. The game will continue to be diluted to the point where it'll be the national powers of Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, and Oklahoma will dominate year in and year out and be the same four teams that make the playoff. Oh wait.....they already are.
Just think if this stuff happened 10-15 years ago. Does Pat White stay at WVU or transfer home to play at Alabama or Auburn? Does Geno Smith stay at WVU or transfer to Florida, Florida State, or Miami? These are things that could have completely changed the history of not only West Virginia football but college football in general. Unless something is changed, the landscape of college football will never be as good as it once was.
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