One man in particular, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, has utilized this process to fill some immediate needs he had on roster. In particular, the punter, quarterback and cornerback positions were all filled with one-year “stop-gaps” transfers that are eligible to play immediately and all seem likely to be named starters.
During his media session with reporters during Friday’s Big Ten Media Day event, Harbaugh was asked about the rule. “I think it’s a good rule,” Harbaugh said. “If you talk about any student that goes to college and they want to do their undergrad at a certain university and they want to do graduate courses at that same university, great. If they do their undergraduate at that university and want to go to another university and do graduate work there, great.”
Harbaugh also believes that student athletes should be able to have the option to explore another program to do their graduate work without restrictions.
“They should be able to have that ability, that option, if they measure up and meet the criteria’s at their own university or that next university,” Harbaugh added. “I think football players, athletes, should not be restricted from having those same options.”
One graduate transfer the football program received during the offseason that was met with attention was Iowa transfer quarterback Jake Rudock transferring in-conference to Michigan. The football program needed immediate depth and someone to push junior Shane Morris for the starting job.
Rudock could just be that person and there’s one thing in particular that sticks out Harbaugh and him.
“His track record, he’s got a track record of success,” Harbaugh said. “I think that’s the biggest thing. I felt that it would benefit our football team.”
The process of acquiring a graduate transfer requires both universities to allow the player to speak to the other program. A player like Rudock transferring to an in-conference opponent is typically rare, as the university doesn’t want to give a conference opponent a competitive edge. However, in this case, Iowa allowed Rudock to speak to Michigan and the conference approved the waiver to make the transfer happen.
Harbaugh gave reporters a, somewhat, inside look into the process of the graduate transfer situation.
“It goes the way it goes,” Harbaugh said. “You send a request to speak to the student athlete, they send you a request to speak to them. You get permission and you start talking on the telephone.”