Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder is not a fan of the growing transfer trend in college football.
“I think we teach bad values,” Snyder said last week at his signing day news conference. “If I can’t get it easily, I’m going to move on. I don’t think that’s the way we want to raise our children. I don’t buy into it.”
Those words have extra meaning after K-State lost three players to transfer over the weekend. Junior receiver Dominique Heath, junior offensive lineman Breontae Matthews and junior running back Dalvin Warmack all announced plans to graduate and finish their college careers elsewhere.
As graduate transfers, all three will be eligible to play for other schools next season.
It’s been a hectic few weeks for K-State’s roster. Byron Pringle and D.J. Reed both turned pro. Winston Dimel, C.J. Reese and Bernard Goodwater all transferred. Bryce Fitzner and Carlos Strickland have each moved on.
Snyder could see many of those departures coming. Still, they were difficult to prepare for.
“That’s something you try to plan ahead for the best you possibly can,” Snyder said. “But when those things happen you don’t have the opportunities to bring in or at least select the right (recruits). It can become detrimental to your program and your teammates.”
The Wildcats lost a pair of veteran contributors in Heath and Warmack.
Warmack, a junior running back from Blue Springs, Mo., rushed for 527 yards and three touchdowns on 101 carries with the Wildcats. He was coming off his best season (285 yards and three scores) playing behind teammates Alex Barnes and Justin Silmon.
Heath, a junior receiver, leaves K-State after catching 95 passes for 947 yards and seven touchdowns. He was arguably the team’s top slot receiver.
Neither player topped the depth chart at his position, but both appeared poised to see meaningful action as seniors under new offensive coordinator Andre Coleman.
“If I’m a No. 2 then I’m of value to a football program,” Snyder said, “and if I want to leave because I’m a No. 2 that’s part of the process. I think it hurts the football team when that takes place. Then all of the sudden somebody gets injured and now you’re out of luck.”
“I just don’t like the direction the rules are going. What you’re going to find out in a period of time is that every program in the nation is just going to exchange their No. 2s … Every No. 2 in the nation is going to find someplace else to go. That may be overdramatic, but nevertheless, it’s seemingly working in that direction.”
Snyder wishes players spent more time discussing their situations with coaches before deciding to switch schools.
“The rule right now is that if I’m in your program, and I want to transfer, I don’t have to say a word to you,” Snyder said. “I will just be gone in the middle of the night and have my dialogue with other schools, and that’s it. To me, that’s not the appropriate way to be a person. It’s not the appropriate way to do business.”
Snyder shared similar thoughts last summer when defending his decision to deny a transfer release to former K-State receiver Corey Sutton before ultimately granting him one on his way to Appalachian State.
The Wildcats have replaced some of their transfers with, well, transfers this offseason.
Last month, they landed a high-profile transfer from Michigan State – receiver Hunter Rison, the son of former NFL star Andre Rison. A freshman, he will have three years of eligibility after sitting out next season, per NCAA transfer rules.
The Wildcats have also signed five junior-college transfers. They are: defensive tackle Tyquilo Moore and fullback Luke Sowa from Butler Community College, defensive backs Kevion McGee and Darreyl Patterson from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M and linebacker Rahsaan York from American River (Calif.) College.
At certain times, Snyder said the right decision is to transfer.
“For me, it’s what’s in their best interest,”Snyder said. “There are some situations that occur when it is the appropriate thing. If a guy can’t play, I encourage him to find another school where he can get on the field and play.”