Monday, July 23, 2012
Penn State players now free agents
By Brian Bennett
The NCAA has decimated Penn State's football program by slashing scholarships and imposing a four-year bowl ban, among other penalties. And now a feeding frenzy for possible Nittany Lions transfers could likely begin.
As part of the sanctions, the NCAA will allow all current Penn State players to transfer to another school and be immediately eligible. All incoming freshmen will be released from their national letters of intent and be free to attend another school. Penn State will not be allowed to restrict players from transferring to the school of their choice, though interested schools must inform Penn State before beginning discussions with a potential transfer.
Current Penn State players and incoming freshmen will also be able to take official or unofficial visits to potential new schools during the 2012-2013 school year. And here is a biggie: the NCAA says it is considering waiving scholarship limits for schools that accept Penn State transfers, provided that they reduce their roster limits in the following year. So, if a school has already reached its roster limit of 85 total or 25 incoming signees, then it could still add a Penn State transfer this year and then be limited to 84 total scholarships and a signing class of 24 next year.
The NCAA also acknowledged that a rash of transfers would damage Penn State Academic Progress Rate score, but that it would consider that impact in any future review of the program.
So every Penn State player and recruit is now basically a free agent, and you couldn't blame any Nittany Lion for not wanting to stick around for a short-handed program that can't play in the postseason for the next four years.
You can bet other Big Ten coaches are already scanning the Penn State roster for players who could provide immediate help. Let the feeding frenzy begin.