The Dayton Flyers would not have made the NCAA Tournament four years in a row without transfers.
Vee Sanford left Georgetown after two seasons for Dayton. Jordan Sibert played two season at Ohio State and then two at Dayton. Charles Cooke became a star at Dayton after two seasons at James Madison. Josh Cunningham left Bradley after his freshman season, debuted for the Flyers last season and has turned into one of the best players in the Atlantic 10 this season.
However, changes could be coming to the transfer rule that concern Dayton coach Anthony Grant. The NCAA Division I Council met last week in Indianapolis and discussed allowing athletes to transfer once as undergraduates and be eligible to play immediately. Athletes would have to reach certain academic benchmarks to qualify.
“I think I speak for every coach in the country to say that would be a disaster if that were to happen,” the Dayton coach said Monday on the Anthony Grant Show on WHIO Radio. “I just don’t think it makes any sense for our game. I don’t think it sends the right message to our youth in terms of what this process is all about.”
Under current rules, undergraduates have to sit out a year after transferring, and only graduate transfers can play right away. If the NCAA votes on changing the rules, it would likely do so in June.
Dayton saw two players transfer after its Elite Eight run in 2014. Khari Price left for Southern Mississippi. Alex Gavrilovic transferred to Towson. John Crosby decided to transfer last spring but changed his mind. Sam Miller transferred to the College of Charleston earlier this month, though he had lost his scholarship at Dayton.
Grant knows players who face adversity as freshmen because of lack of playing time or experience home sickness would be more likely to transfer if they don’t have to sit out a season. He knows what that feeling is like because he experienced it in the 1983-84 season at Dayton. He saw limited action in 18 games.
“I came to Dayton as a 17-year-old, and I had to grow up,” Grant said. “I had to go through some things being away from home and not playing early in my career. I feel very confident in saying if I had not been forced to by my parents and been made to grow up, I don’t know if I’d be sitting here with the opportunities and experiences I’ve had over the course of my lifetime. We’ll see. Obviously, the NCAA has pressure on them in a lot of different areas to look out for student welfare.”