Clarifying fifth-year transfer rule

Clarifying fifth-year transfer rule

Mike Shaw transferred to Bradley.

The future college homes of Devin Langford and Ibby Djimde are still undetermined at this point.

But one item is clear.

None of the three men’s basketball players that announced they were transferring from Illinois less than two weeks ago will likely ever suit up for the Illini again.

Commonsense, you might say?

Well, after a reader posed an intruiging question during my chat last Friday asking if a player can transfer away from their original school and then come back to said school as a fifth-year senior, it did get my attention.

More so because I had never ever considered the scenario or thought it was a possibility.

Turns out it’s not a realistic possibility, according to Ryan Squire, the Assistant Athletic Director of Compliance at Illinois.

"The rule that allows graduates to transfer and play their final season at another school is tied to the one-time transfer exception already available in sports other than football, basketball and baseball,” Squire said. “If a student tried to transfer away then try to return to the original school, they would have to apply for a waiver through the NCAA.”

So even if Shaw blossoms at Bradley in his two seasons of eligibility, don’t expect him to return to Illinois as a fifth-year transfer like Illinois has had the last two seasons in Sam McLaurin from Coastal Carolina and Sam Maniscalco from Bradley.

“They had not previously transferred,” Squire said about McLaurin and Maniscalco, “so that allowed them to be eligible immediately as graduate students.”

Hopefully this helps provide a little bit of clarification on the ever-evolving fifth-year transfer scenario that is becoming a common trend in college basketball recruiting.

Lee's a Wolfpack. John Groce and his wife Allison spent Valentine's Day in Hobbs, N.M., checking out New Mexico Junior College combo guard Desmond Lee.

Turns out the romantic getaway didn't end with a sweet prize. Lee (6-4, 195) gave a verbal commitment to North Carolina State on Monday night, picking the Wolfpack ahead of Baylor and Creighton.

Illinois may have had a foot in the door with Lee, who is originally from Norfolk, Va., and initially signed with Texas El-Paso in 2011 but did not qualify academically, but he slammed it shut with Monday's news.

Lee averaged 20.3 points and 5.1 rebounds for a New Mexico Junior College squad that finished 27-7.


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blmillini wrote on April 10, 2013 at 11:04 am

If Lee could not qualify at UTEP, do we really think he would have qualified at Illinois?

JimOATSfan wrote on April 10, 2013 at 6:04 pm

We need a SAM, and we should name the 5th year transfer the "Sam Position" since basketball has never been closer to football agression (witness MJ's most recent chat comment about getting away with assault now - I agree).

SAM III where are you? Maybe we just unofficially nickname the new guy SAM.

Maybe it's just all SAM-antics?