NCAA shows inconsistency throughout transfer process

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   Every year, college football athletes request access from the National Collegiate Athletic Association in order to transfer to another school and play for that school immediately. During this previous off-season for college football, the NCAA accepted transfers Justin Fields, Tate Martell, Jalen Hurts, and many others. In order to transfer, there has to be a legitimate reason.

   Tate Martell was Dwayne Haskins’s backup at Ohio State for quarterback, and after the 2018 season, Martell requested to play immediately for the Miami Hurricanes. Martell’s reasoning was that Ohio State did not want him anymore. The NCAA granted the request and let Martell play immediately for Miami of Florida. There are multiple cases every year where the NCAA has granted a player permission, but there is one case where a player needed permission and the NCAA would not grant him access. 

   Brock Hoffman, a division one lineman, played for Coastal Carolina and transferred to Virginia Tech in order to be closer to his mom to take care of her. His mother had a non-cancerous brain tumor removed before his freshman season, and she is still having complications. The NCAA denied Hoffman’s request, so he tried again. He sent in three different requests and all of them were denied. The NCAA claims to have multiple reasons behind denying Hoffman access to play for Virginia Tech right away. 

   One of the reasons the NCAA refused Hoffman’s transfer, was that her illness was supposedly better. However, Hoffman’s mother was still dealing with facial paralysis, hearing loss and impaired eyesight. The Hoffman family was shocked because these symptoms were not exaggerated, these were serious conditions that four different doctors outlined, explaining her side effects that she deals with everyday. The NCAA snapped back with more questions for the father, Brian Hoffman. The NCAA asked “Why didn’t Stephanie Hoffman, 50, retire (after her diagnosis and surgery) from her job as a teacher?”  Brian Hoffman replied by saying that after the surgeries they did not have enough money, especially on a teacher’s salary. 

   For the NCAA to let top-ranked quarterbacks transfer to big schools in order to not be a backup seems fair. Once they get to a case where it seems like common decency to let a son transfer closer to his recovering mother, they then denied the waiver. The NCAA board should know how expensive college is, realize how expensive surgery and physical therapy is, and with that total, understand a teacher’s salary would not be able to pay for it. The father even sent in bills and insurance checks to show that if she were to retire, it would be a negative impact on the family. 

   If Brock Hoffman wants to play college football, he will have to wait another year to play. Unfortunately, by the time that year has passed, another recruiting class will have come and the chance of him starting in the 2020 season after redshirting will have gone down. 

   Luckily, the coaches and school board for Virginia Tech have been fighting on his side and have tried to keep his mind off of everything. In reality, a young adult should not have to be put in the position to where he cannot take care of his ailing mother and be shut down at a chance of his dreams by the association that he plays for. It is not ideal to have any family member go through that, but Brock Hoffman took it upon himself as a 19 year old college student to move closer to his mother, so he can still pursue his dream and take care of his mom. By making such an adult decision, he was punished and set back by the NCAA.

   Quarterbacks with big names should not be able to transfer for little to no reason, but the NCAA should make it so there is more of a guideline for these players to follow if they want to change schools. Jim Harbuagh brought up the idea of letting players transfer only once throughout their college careers without having to request to play immediately.  These kids going off to college do not know everything they want in a school just yet. They may like the football program but not the atmosphere of the school. Instead of putting them through four years at a college they are not appreciating or enjoying, let them transfer to a better fit school. 

   The NCAA has denied the family’s last appeal leaving Brock Hoffman no option but to redshirt and play in the 2020 season. “Brock is probably handling it better than we are,” Brian Hoffman said. “Brock will redshirt, work on his craft, and be ready to go for the 2020. He’s got a lot of good people he’s become friends with. I’m so proud of the way he’s handled it and dealt with it.”

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