Georgia Tech Denies Transfer to UGA – Unions Smile

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Chip Towers of the AJ-C reported yesterday that Georgia Tech has denied UGA permission to talk with basketball player Robert Carter about transferring to Athens.

Mike Bobinski, Tech’s athletic director, said:

“Our practice has typically been to (not grant permission) to the ACC schools and anybody you play in a given sport every year,” Bobinski said. “We play Georgia every year. This is not something which is so much a Georgia thing as it is we compete against them every year. That’s a pretty standard industry-wide practice.”

Bobinski is right. Standard practice allowed by NCAA rules and backed by ridiculously one-sided contracts gives schools power over the lives of student-athletes. This is exactly the kind of thing that endangering college sports in the courts.

I know, I know, many of you have had to sign non-compete agreements as a prerequisite for employment.

Georgia Tech and the other schools that restrict transfers can not have it both ways. What is the status of players, employees or students? If they are employees, okay, restrict their movement and pay them. If they are students, treat them like your regular nerds (just kidding, techies).

There is another aspect of Tech’s policy that perhaps some of our 4,382 readers who are attorneys can help with.  It seems to me that for a non-compete agreement to be enforceable that there must be some proprietary information that would be at risk if the player went elsewhere. The idea that a transferring player can materially affect the fortunes of Georgia Tech athletics is ridiculous.

This kind of unduly restrictive policy is exactly the kind of evidence that will be used against NCAA and its members in upcoming lawsuits.