Baylor transfer sparks reform in NCAA rules

by: NICK ALVARADO/Editorial Assistant

This college football off-season has been headlined with new coaches going to big-name programs, player suspensions and player transfers.

With the new transfer rules this season, all incoming transfers across college football have to wait to step onto the field for a year. But some transferred for the wrong reasons and had to deal with suspensions before the season started, or were suspended and went to transfer to another college or university hoping to step onto the football field for a chance to play and knowing that they were suspended from the team.

Boise State transfer Sam Ukwuachu went to Baylor with a suspension already in place. Baylor accepted him and placed him on the team in 2013. During his time in Waco, Ukwuachu was never on the roster for training camp and never went in for a single play for the Bears. Obviously, he was ineligible for the 2013 season with the new National Collegiate Athletic Association transfer rules.

This season, Ukwuachu is not included on the Baylor roster and will not play after he was found guilty of raping an ex-Baylor women’s soccer player in 2013. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail, 10 years of probation and 400 hours of community service. The big question is what did Baylor know when Ukwuachu came to Waco? That question remains to be answered and most likely won’t be answered. Baylor Head football Coach Art Briles denied that he was informed of Ukwuachu’s past at Boise State, where he was accused of assaulting a former girlfriend.

After this incident, Baylor president Ken Starr created a new positon that will oversee “all student-athlete behavior.” This move is one step toward cracking down on transfers who are already suspended and are known for being trouble. All collegiate athletic programs should look deeper into student-athlete transfers who have had a history of being in trouble. If so, they shall be rejected by the university that they are transferring to. The NCAA should also check every transfer that occurs and negate any transfers who already have been suspended, or are known to have a violent past at the university that they are transferring from. Some college students are now getting involved in illegal activity and potentially jeopardizing their scholarships and their spot in the university’s athletic program.

Former Boise State head football coach Chris Peterson, who is now at the University of Washington, only disclosed the relationship of Ukwuachu and his girlfriend. Boise State did acknowledge that Ukwuachu was not suspended due to disciplinary reasons. Transfer paperwork showed that Ukwuachu was not dismissed for disciplinary reasons.

Boise State has not announced the reasoning behind Ukwuachu’s release from the team back in 2013, and that will be the biggest question everyone wants the answer to.

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