To: Petey, Corey, and Others,
If you have not yet finalized your transfer plans, we would like to strongly recommend to you that you contact Marc Bailey at www.parentsofplayers.com to discuss your rights under by-law 126.96.36.199. Marc is experienced in negotiating fair treatment for players looking to transfer, being forced to transfer, or just flat not being renewed, and he might be able to negotiate with your coaches to sign a "sit out waiver" so that you can continue to pursue your football and educational interests at the FBS level instead of going to JUCO or FCS.
Please consider talking to Marc, he's a former player that understands the difficult and life-altering decisions you have to make at this crucial time in your life, and he also knows about all the tricks coaches are going to use on you to encourage you to transfer out of their program so they can get their roster down to 85 players by August. You have absolutely nothing to lose by spending 10 minutes on the phone with him and he might be able to help you land at another SEC school or another FBS school, especially if you feel as though your transfer was encouraged in any way. If you don't feel comfortable in talking to Marc, ask your high school coach to contact him.
Whether you know it or not, this is the time of year coaches purge their rosters to get down to the 85 limit. Many student-athletes such as yourself often times find themselves in a numbers crunch and are encouraged to look at options they wouldn't normally look at on their own. We don't know everything about your situations, but we know several others that have been encouraged to seek playing time elsewhere in order for a coach to get his roster down to 85. This often times happens when a coach oversigns a roster and brings in someone he thinks is better. Typically the coach will keep everyone through the spring, despite knowing there wont' be room for everyone in the fall, work everyone through the spring, and then after spring ball and evaluating the players he will tell certain players that they won't get playing time because they are buried in the depth chart (a chart that is oversigned always means someone has to go). If this is the case, you have rights and you should not be encouraged to downgrade your collegiate career so that a coach can get his numbers down before the deadline in August because he oversigned in February.
To any student-athletes that feel they are being pushed or encouraged to transfer: you too should contact Marc and allow him to help you navigate the complicated waters of by-law 188.8.131.52. Under this by-law, the NCAA suggests that the student-athlete have an advocate while going through the non-renewal process of your scholarship which leads to the release so that you can transfer. Your parents or guardians are most likely not equipped to handle this, Marc is.
Suggestions for who should be involved:
a. Financial aid office (NOTE: NCAA legislation requires an institution's regular financial aid authority to notify the student-athlete in writing of the opportunity for a hearing).
b. Financial aid hearing/appeals committee.
c. Athletics department.
f. Advocate for the student-athlete (e.g., parent, legal guardian, immediate family member).