MISSOULA — Montana head football coach Bobby Hauck is wary of the NCAA’s new football transfer rule, which grants more freedom to athletes and which some of his players could use if they decide to transfer.
The rule, approved by the NCAA Division I Council in June, allows players to transfer and receive financial aid from a different school without needing permission from their current coach or school.
When an athlete notifies their coach of their intent to transfer, the player’s name must be entered by the school into an NCAA database within two days, and prospective schools can then view the players on the transfer market.
“I don’t know that that’ll be productive for football, but we’ll see,” Hauck said on Oct. 16, one day after the rule went into effect.
As for why he thinks it might not be productive, he said: “I just think guys quit on things too soon. I think that’s the generation, and I think we’re catering to that.”
Previously, players needed permission from their school to contact other schools, and a prospective school needed permission from the transferring player’s original school to recruit the player. Without that permission, an athlete couldn’t receive financial aid from another school, which is commonly referred to as the original school blocking the transfer.
Stricter tampering rules were put in place because of worries about illegal recruiting of athletes who haven’t declared their intention to transfer. Illegal recruiting would be a Level 2 violation, which is “considered a significant breach of conduct,” according to the NCAA.
Hauck believes any illegal recruiting isn’t worth worrying about.
“Nah, not worth it,” he said. “I think most football guys are pretty straightforward.”
Individual conferences can still put restrictions on transferring within the league. The Big Sky Conference has an intra-conference transfer rule.
When an athlete who is receiving athletically related financial aid transfers within the Big Sky, they have to sit out for “one full academic year (two full semesters or three full quarters excluding summer) before eligible to compete,” according to the rule.
“During that period, the student-athlete shall not be offered, provided or have arranged, directly or indirectly, any earned or unearned athletically-related financial aid.
“A recruited non-qualifier, although not receiving athletically related aid, is bound by this provision.
“On written petition from the student-athlete clearly explaining all extenuating circumstances and hardships, the Eligibility Committee may waive the year in residency requirement and/or financial aid restriction for an intra-conference transfer.”
Ramping up recruiting
The coaching staff will be ramping up its recruiting starting Sunday, Hauck said during his press conference on Monday. Football recruits can start signing in the early period that runs from Dec. 19-21.
“We’ll be hardcore into recruiting up through that first signing day,” Hauck said. “The next three weeks will be pretty busy.”
The Griz have 13 known commits in the class of 2019. Their in-state commits are Ryder Meyer of Fairfield, Ryan Tirrell of Loyola, Noah Ambuehl of Great Falls Central, Garrison Poetzl of Billings Senior, Trevin Gradney of Billings West, Kris Brown of Bozeman and Elias DeWaters of Missoula Sentinel. Their out-of-state commits are Joey Elwell and Kale Edwards of Idaho, Jacob McGourin and Corbin Walker of Washington, and Alex Hurlburt and Nick Ostmo of Oregon.
Two players who started the season at Montana are no longer listed on the roster. Lamarriel Taylor, a junior wide receiver and special teams contributor, left the team in October because of a personal family issue, Hauck said. Senior running back Jeremy Calhoun is no longer on the team, with Hauck saying Calhoun “didn’t want to play anymore.”