When it comes to unfair NCAA transfer restrictions, it doesn’t get much nastier than the story of a freshman basketball player at Kansas State.
This one is a first-ballot Hall of Fame for shafting student-athletes.
Here’s what happened, according to the Manhattan Mercury:
Kansas State basketball player Leticia Romero, the Big 12 Freshman of the Year, presented a list of 94 schools she was interested in transferring to.
Kansas State athletics director John Currie denied all 94 requests.
At this point, Romero had the option to take her case to an appeals committee at Kansas State. She did, and they denied all 94 requests, too.
Please keep in mind that Romero is already being penalized by having to sit out one full season of competition. And for some background, Romero wants to transfer because the Kansas State coach who recruited her there was recently fired.
Here is some of the reaction to Kansas State’s decision:
- From Joe Posnanski: “Look, I’ll come clean here: I don’t even think Kansas State SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT to deny Leticia Romero free movement. There’s a lot of talk these days about college athletes being indentured servants … the NCAA transfer rules fit the description. Why should Kansas State have the right to prevent her from transferring to another school that wants to give her a scholarship? Is it because of how much they are paying her? Oh yeah, they’re not paying here. Is it because a scholarship is a binding contract? No, not quite since scholarships go year-to-year and the school can take them away at more or less any time for any cockamamie reason. Is it because Kansas State has worked so hard to make her comfortable that she owes them? No, not even that — they just fired the whole coaching staff that convinced her to leave … She played a year. She played well. She gave it a shot. She wants to leave and take a different scholarship. It is utterly un-American that Kansas State even has the power to stop her.”
- From NBC Sports: “Someone at Kansas State needs to step in and realize that the school is getting mountains of negative PR for an athlete in a non-revenue sport by upholding a rule that is likely to be changed when the Power Five conferences are given autonomy. It’s utterly incompetent and another stain on the reputation of Athletic Director John Currie …”
Updated: Apparently, due to a clerical error, Romero can get recruited by one of the 94 colleges on her list, Middle Tennessee State. But again, that was only due to a clerical error.