Commentary

Time to change transfer rules

Updated: May 2, 2012, 10:53 AM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

When I look at college basketball right now, things have slowed down a bit. There is still plenty of news as the coaching carousel continues to spin. You see different coaches filling out their staffs, and coaches leaving for other jobs.

I get all sorts of comments on Twitter, including remarks about coaches going to new country clubs and changing addresses. At the same time, if the players want to leave, they have to pay a penalty and have to sit out a season.

Something tells me that is hypocrisy. I understand that a student-athlete is supposed to be choosing a school because of the program and academics. Let's get real ... they go to a college in large part because of the coach. Then when that coach says bye-bye, and a new system is put in place, they want to go elsewhere but still have to pay a big price. Sitting out one full season changes their mentality, influences their game.

[+] EnlargeJarrod Uthoff
AP Photo/David StlukaJarrod Uthoff's plight at Wisconsin magnified the convolution of the transfer process.

Then you have stories of schools wanting to block kids in their efforts to transfer. Come on, let them go. Let these youngsters take advantage of their opportunities.

Nobody blocks a coach when he leaves. He gets the cash and a new opportunity to fulfill his dream. Why not let the youngster take advantage of that dream as well.

On another subject, I spoke to Kentucky coach John Calipari the other day. He asked me a simple question: how can people like you pick us in the top three in America for next season? Calipari reminded me that 97 percent of his scoring is gone from the championship team. As I told him, the name on the sidelines in Lexington is Calipari.

That means there is motivation and inspiration. It also means as great recruiting class as Big Blue Nation will be happy as Kentucky is back in the hunt. The Wildcats will have a dynamite group of newcomers at Rupp Arena. There will be excitement galore once again.

Will there be a better area in the country than Kentucky, Louisville and Indiana? There are three elite programs and the Hoosiers will be right there in the Big Ten standings. Having Cody Zeller and Christian Watford back put a smile on Tom Crean's face!

Rick Pitino will have an explosive unit on the court He hired a couple of new assistants as his son Richard went on to the head coaching duties at Florida International.

Staying in the state of Indiana, Butler appears to be heading to the Atlantic 10, starting with the 2013-14 season. That means Butler vs. Xavier will become a hot league rivalry. Brad Stevens' club made the Final Four in back-to-back years and has a lot of potential to make some noise this season.

College basketball has new stories and excitement, even during the so-called "off-season", baby!

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.