EWU, Beau Baldwin Benefit From FCS Transfer Waiver

Screenshot 2015-02-16 13.09.05

Many Duck fans are confused by Eastern Washington head coach Beau Baldwin‘s statements blasting the Oregon Ducks football program for recruiting former EWU quarterback Vernon Adams. Adams was eligible to come to Oregon using the graduate transfer rule and is currently fulfilling his undergraduate contractual scholarship obligations.

Bo Levi Mitchell transferred from SMU to EWU under the FCS transfer rule eligibility waiver.

From video

Bo Levi Mitchell transferred from SMU to EWU under the FCS transfer rule eligibility waiver.

But Baldwin and the EWU football program have benefited from transfer rule exceptions and waivers in the past, making Baldwin’s criticism of Oregon’s application of the legitimate graduate transfer rule even more baffling.

In 2010, Southern Methodist University (SMU) junior quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell transferred for a starting position at EWU. There is no waiting period for players transferring to the FCS.

Mitchell started immediately, won the Walter Payton Award and led EWU to its first NCAA Division I FCS National Championship under Baldwin.

“I know I’m going to have a chance to showcase my skills, but my window will be small, which is something I will have to take advantage of because I won’t get many opportunities. But that’s all you can ask for as a player, get a chance, seize the moment, and shine when the lights are on,” Mitchell said.

Former Oregon backup quarterback Bryan Bennett transferred to Southeastern Louisiana without a lapse in eligibility.

Kevin Cline

Former Oregon backup quarterback Bryan Bennett transferred to Southeastern Louisiana without a lapse in eligibility.

Mitchell’s performance earned Baldwin an FCS national title and Coach of the Year awards from both College Sporting News and American Football Monthly.

At the time, Baldwin applauded the ability for players to transfer to the FCS:

You don’t plan for any of this and don’t necessarily expect it, but it was a good situation and opportunity for us. We don’t take a whole lot of transfers here – over 90 percent of our players are going to 18-year-old players out of high school who play for us for four or five years. But sometimes transfers are the right fit, and you definitely want to take advantage of that.”

There are plenty of instances of FBS players transferring to FCS teams to take advantage of the NCAA’s transfer waiting period waiver, including former Oregon player and current Southeastern Louisiana starting quarterback Bryan Bennett.


Baldwin’s recent comments (see Twitter post above for audio) blasting Oregon for recruiting Adams under the NCAA’s graduate transfer rule are just plain inconsistent with Baldwin’s past.

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Jordan Ingram

Jordan Ingram

My name is Jordan Ingram and I am currently a student at the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism. I am a proud Oregonian with an insatiable thirst for Oregon athletics. I am in hot pursuit of my dream career as beat writer for anything that goes “Quack.” Follow me on Twitter : @jpingram3

  • Ethan Christian Ishamishlam

    I’m driving to Cheney right now. I’m gonna fight Baldwin, mano a mano! After the beating has been administered, I’m gonna force him to read this article and follow Jordan Ingram on twitter!

    It’s time….

    • Jordan Ingram

      Ha! I might come along for the ride! Thanks for reading Ethan! I refrained from calling Baldwin a hypocrite in my article and I will refrain from calling him a self serving opportunist and hypocrite now. Give coach B a wedgie for me!

    • Jordan Ingram

      Thanks for reading, Ethan! This is a follow-up article of my first article that examines Baldwin’s public comments and change of heart regarding Adams’ decision to transfer to Oregon despite Adams completing his undergraduate academic and athletic obligations at EWU:
      http://fishduck.com/2015/02/fcs-coaches-slam-oregon-in-frustration-over-grad-transfer-rule/

  • bd_ewu

    Transferring is part of the game. Most people understand that. This is a pointless article though. Mitchell, along with Padron two years later, were no longer starting at SMU, and because of that, they left for EWU. It’s not like either was contending for the Heisman, leading their team to a potential championship when they decided to transfer. Adams is a different situation, and it obviously hurts a little more than if he was already beaten out at EWU; which wouldn’t have happened. Comparing the situations is apples/oranges. Good luck to Adams though, truly. Also just sucks a little as an EWU grad and fan.

    • Jordan Ingram

      Actually, Mitchell won the Walter Payton Award (FCS Heisman Trophy equivalent) and brought Baldwin one of his two Div. I-AA national titles (it’s in the fourth paragraph). The point of the article was to show that Baldwin benefits from NCAA transfer rules in the a similar way FBS teams such as Oregon do with this graduate transfer rule. Thus, not a pointless article. I understand as an EWU alumnus your defense of Baldwin, but the fact is both FBS and FCS teams benefit from NCAA transfer rules. Both are transfer rules. Both benefit football teams. Two apples. No oranges. Go Ducks.

      • Mike J

        This is definitely an apples to oranges comparison. FBS kids typically transfer because they either fall behind on the depth chart or are dismissed from the team … that’s the prime reason why they are allowed to transfer down without penalty. Very, very few FCS kids transfer up for the same reasons. Baldwin has a legitimate beef and is right to point out this glaring issue with the transfer rule.

        • Jordan Ingram

          I respectfully disagree. First off, thanks for reading. Baldwin is a coach. He has no right to hold public “beefs” with players or teams. That’s just bad form and totally out of line. As I stated in my articles, Adams fulfilled his contractual obligations to Baldwin and EWU, and owes them NOTHING. And Baldwin’s “beef” with Oregon is completely unfounded as it is a licit NCAA rule. Furthermore, the graduate transfer rule that Adams used is so rarely applied successfully that it is hardly a “glaring issue.” Who cares why Adams transferred or who benefits from his transfer if he completed his academic and athletic obligations to EWU?

    • Jordan Ingram

      And Adams wasn’t “contending for the Heisman” when he transferred to Oregon either.

  • Jordan Ingram

    “But sometimes transfers are the right fit, and you definitely want to take advantage of that,” Baldwin said. So, Adams, a transfer, is the right fit for Oregon and the Ducks “definitely want to take advantage of that.” He is advocating for the same thing he condemned Oregon of doing.