There is also the matter of the bond that coaches develop with athletes. "Good leaders—and good coaches are good leaders—build unity," he says. "The kids love their coach. You can't just ignore that."
So I ask him if players already at schools should have the right to transfer without giving up a year of eligibility. Castiglione says he isn't sure. "There can be unforeseen consequences," he says. "A coach leaving is a very emotional thing, and I don't know if you would want to make it too easy for student-athletes to make emotional decisions."
In the end Castiglione says common sense should prevail. I think that's right. I don't think players should be allowed to follow coaches to their new schools; that could lead to shady package deals. And I don't think players should be allowed to transfer immediately after a coaching change, when emotions are running hottest.
But if after a fair period of time—maybe 30 days after a new coach gets hired—it becomes clear that any player (of any class) in good academic standing does not fit with the new coach and no longer believes the situation is right, well, he or she should be allowed a one-time transfer without penalty. College sports, even big-time college sports, are supposed to be about the players. At least that's what we want to believe.
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For more commentary from Joe Posnanski, go to si.com/posnanski