Sports

Grip on Sports: Nothing wrong with transfers

Wednesday: There are some questions that are impossible to answer definitively. Like why the M’s are so mediocre year-in and year-out. Or why Pete Carroll is always smiling.

Or why kids decide to leave one college for another.

There is a  little blurb on a Los Angeles Times blog concerning former USC basketball player Byron Wesley. The 6-foot-5 Wesley averaged 17.8 points and 6.4 rebounds for the Trojans last season, coach Andy Enfield’s first in L.A., then decided to leave for his senior year.

Though Wesley is noncommittal about where he may land, his father has mentioned Gonzaga as his first choice, saying his son wants to go somewhere he can win and play right away.

Wesley may not land at GU, but if he does he’ll certainly help a Zags team that could use an athletic wing player to go with its bigs and potent guard lineup.

But no matter where Wesley ends up, he’ll be one of more than 350 players transferring from Division I colleges this offseason. You’ll hear a lot of reasons advanced, but none fit every player. That’s because every player is unique and every circumstance is unique.

No matter the reason, the number of transfers seems to grow each year. Part of the reason for that is the NCAA has made it easier to make a move. Hardship waivers used to be a rare thing; now they are handed out like treats at a Halloween party.

If a school wants to offer a guaranteed five-year scholarship and the athlete wants to sign it, then that contract would need to be honored by both sides. But that’s not how it works. Each scholarship is on a year-by-year basis. It can disappear at a moment’s notice. That’s fine. But then the player should be free to go – and compete – wherever and whenever he or she wants.

No matter the reasons behind the increasing number of transfer students in college basketball, the trend is going to continue as long as the current rules stay in place. And there really isn’t anything wrong with it.

Thursday: Let me check the calendar. It is April, right? Seems like there is a heck of a lot of NFL news for April.

The draft is next month, right? That’s become a big occasion. The summer workouts, those seem to be important too. And the opening of training camps? That’s a huge deal I guess.

But the day the  schedule is announced?

That seems to be the league’s version of the Academy Awards these days. “The winner of the season-opening game is … the  Green Bay Packers.” Woo-hoo.

The Packers are coming to Seattle. Is there any way the officials could walk out that week? Just kidding. No one wants that. And no one seemed to be clamoring for a lot of ink being spilled concerning  next season’s games, but it happened.

The only two Seahawks games that interested me were against  San Francisco and we have to wait until Thanksgiving night for the first one of those. Turkey and Harbaugh. Now that’s redundant.

Also on the home schedule early are the Broncos and the Cowboys. That’s pretty good. The toughest road games, outside the division? At Carolina, Chiefs and Eagles.

Of course, that’s all predicated on last year’s results. And, as we all know, the NFL changes more year-to-year than any other pro league.

Heck, the Oct. 6 game at the Redskins could turn out to be the toughest test of the first two months. Who knows?

Friday: There is one more thing we can blame on David Stern.

If the former NBA commissioner had done the right thing and pushed for the Sacramento franchise to relocate to Seattle when Chris Hansen made his push, then the Puget Sound area might be also getting an NHL franchise. But without an NBA team in hand, Hansen is not moving forward with his arena plans.

And without arena plans in the offing, the NHL is not going to move forward with expansion in Seattle. Which is too bad. After all, without NHL expansion into Seattle, the Mariners are doomed to always be the least productive of the city’s professional sports teams.



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