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A Story About Transferring That Does Not Include the Word “Release”

I tend not call out poor writing about compliance issues. There’s too much of it and it would be mostly mean-spirited. The exception is when bad writing about NCAA rules means the writer got something fundamentally wrong.

Good writing should be promoted, and Jeremy Fowler of CBS Sports produced that in a story about Duke quarterback Brandon Connette. Connette is exploring a transfer and Fowler avoided a widespread pet peeve with these stories: he did not call the permission to contact a “release”. That is meaningful in Connette’s case because as a graduate transfer, he needs another “release” from Duke, permission to use the one-time transfer exception or support for a graduate transfer waiver. Since he needs something more from Duke to have maximum freedom, he is not “released” in most senses of the word.

So kudos to Fowler for getting the terminology and bylaw correct. It also shows why talking about transfer “releases” is so common, because it is a painful trip through the weeds to explain what a college athlete gets when they receive permission to contact. Permission to contact is also the only thing most football and basketball players need from the institution when transferring, so they are released as much as an institution can release them at that point.

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