Morgantown, West Virginia – With the Big 10 and the Pac 12 deciding to cancel the Fall season, several players in those conferences will be searching for a new home to play football this season.
In other words, the floodgates of transfers are about to open and the West Virginia Mountaineers are going to benefit from this. While other teams have little to no room for incoming transfers, West Virginia has only filled 78 of its allowed 85 scholarships for the upcoming season. This means that Neal Brown and staff will be able to add 7 more players from conferences not playing this season.
Why would players from the Big 10 or Pac 12 conferences wait around for a year without playing when they could suit up this season? While some will remain loyal to their teams, many will seek a team where they can play immediately.
The question is, will players transferring to a school playing in the Fall receive immediate eligibility? According to Bud Elliott of 247 Sports, the answer is unclear: “Certainly athletes have been granted waivers for immediate transfer eligibility on shakier grounds before. And in a semi-corollary, the NCAA does allow athletes at programs under a bowl ban to transfer and be immediately eligible if the ban spans the remainder of their eligibility.”
Players have received waivers to play immediately for far less than a cancelled or postponed season, and so the NCAA will almost certainly grant players immediate eligibility if they choose to transfer from a school not playing to a school participating in Fall sports.
Neal Brown has a keen eye for targeting transfer players and bringing them to Morgantown (see: Austin Kendall – Oklahoma, Tony Fields II – Arizona, Scott Young – Arizona, Jackie Matthews – Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and most recently Zack Dobson – Middle Tennessee State).
While most other schools have filled their allotted 85 scholarships for the season, Brown and staff will be able to put a full court press on players from conferences not playing with the promise of immediate eligibility and playing time. Expect several transfers from the Big Ten and Pac 12 to make Morgantown their new home in the coming weeks.