Georgia Tech golf coach Bruce Heppler has supplemented his roster with a transfer. Drew Czuchry will be eligible to play in the fall for Tech after transferring from Akron.
Czuchry appears capable of helping out the team, which lost three key members to graduation. The Yellow Jackets won their third consecutive ACC championship and finished the season ranked No. 2 in the country. Czuchry was the highest-ranked player from Georgia in the 2010 class by the American Junior Golf Association and 26th in the country. Czuchry will have three years of eligibility remaining.
I hadn’t realized until today (Wednesday) that an athlete could transfer and play immediately. I knew of one exception, that if an athlete graduates with eligibility remaining, he can transfer to another school to pursue a graduate degree and play right away (for example, Russell Wilson of N.C. State/Wisconsin and Greg Paulus of Duke/Syracuse).
I can think of another exception regarding family illness. You may remember former Tech safety Mario Edwards left Virginia Tech following the 2007-08 school year and played for Georgia Tech starting in the fall of 2008. He transferred because of an illness in Edwards’ family that compelled him to move closer to his home (College Park). The NCAA granted him a waiver that cleared him to play and the ACC’s 12 schools also had to unanimously approve it, since the move was within the conference.
What I didn’t know, and hopefully you find this interesting, is that the sit-out-one-year rule is (almost) airtight only for football, baseball, men’s and women’s basketball and men’s ice hockey. In all other sports, athletes can play immediately if their original school releases them from their scholarship, they’ve never transferred before and they’ve met academic requirements. NCAA rules link here. It lists a few other exceptions, the most prominent being an athlete can play immediately if his/her original school drops his/her sport. I’m sure you know this already, but Georgia State received a football player from Northeastern (Jocquez Fears) that way last year.
If you were aware of this rule, my congratulations to you. What is kind of interesting is that the rationale for the “required residence” (i.e., sit out a year) rule is that the NCAA wants to “encourage an academic focus” since research indicates that athletes who stay at one school have a higher graduation rate than athletes who transfer. I’d be curious to know what research indicates about how graduation rates are impacted when coaches leave one school for another.