JUMPING SHIP originated when sailors saw their ship sinking & jumped to stay alive. Well…it’s not quite a life or death moment now but many athletes are” jumping “their ship these days especially in D-1 Football-QB position.

…Let’s JUMP SHIP & start with the quiz. This, highly personable, pitcher began his career in 1930 with the Cardinals. He was paid $2400 (6 months work–$400/month). In the 4 best years of his career, he won 20, 30, 28, 24 games. His innings pitched were 293, 311, 325, 315. He was an All-Star-4x, the MVP once & 2nd in MVP twice. Who am I?

…The most “jumping” occurs with D-1 College QB’s.  That IS…without question.. the most prestigious position on the collegiate gridiron. He gets the most attention, likely the most NIL $$$ and often is there are expectations of him immediately becoming 1st-string. But..it isn’t working for many of them. From 2017 – 2020, 126 of the 168 quarterbacks transferred. That’s 75 percent!  Among this group…47 of them left at the end of year 3—either as a professional draftee or they had earned their degree. Further, by that time, the next “sharpshooter” had already been hired…oops.. recruited to play QB. 39 QB’s have transferred multiple times.

…It just was 2021 that the NCAA agreed to modify its long-time policies regarding transfers. In a dramatic transformation that radically changed college sports, the NCAA Division I Council approved a measure to grant all players the ability to transfer once in their careers and be immediately eligible. If a player transfers more than once, the one year of non-eligibility still applies.

…The transfer Portal has lit the fire under the JUMPING SHIP mode. Only in effect for 2 years now, it’s popularity has skyrocketed.  In the 2020 offseason, the Transfer Portal was used by

587 Undergrad transfers & 309 Grad transfers. In just 1 year the numbers in 2021 jumped to 950 Undergrad students & 477 Grad Transfers.

….JT Daniels shows us another route. He was a 5 star QB recruit in 2018 class. He’s JUMPED SHIP 3X!  He’s gone from USC, to Georgia, to W. Virginia and finished in Rice. He’s been at FOUR different schools. It’s clear that his ability & playing time did not match that of a QB at the very highest collegiate level.

….If they DO actually stay, when will they actually get their 1st start? In our test group(2017-20), 43 started as Freshman, 30 as Red-Frosh, 5 as Soph, 20 as Red-Soph while  65 got no starts!!

….Sooo, what does this study of 2017-20 indicate for the schools? Here are some stunning stats to consider: a) if you’re investing in a top-100 quarterback recruit right now, you need to understand the probability that he’ll finish his career at your school is only 35%. B) There’s a 61% chance he’ll become your starting QB for at least one full season c) But even if that does happen there’s still a 47% chance he’ll end up in the portal during his career. Out of all 31 top-100 recruits, only 23 percent developed into all-conference players for their first school. Sometimes, it appears, JUMPING SHIP benefitted the player AND the team(they get an extra scholarship to use)!

…It seems to me that part of this “transferring” stems from our society. It is assumed by many, young & old, that success will come their way quickly. Or that they over-value their own talent. Partially due, it seems, to the constant applause of their play by their friends, family, and often the Coaching staff. When it doesn’t occur, it’s time to move on!

…There are other areas that JUMPING SHIP is taking place….in D-1 Basketball with much, much smaller rosters, there were still 1768 players entering the portal in the 22-23 year. There are 5,510 D-1 bball players. That’s a 32% rate (1 of 3) transferring this year!

….It’s not just limited to collegiate players. Check out the coaching staffs—especially D-1 Football. All coaches want to “move up” in the ranks by going to elite teams to be assistant coaches. Sooo…many view being on the Alabama Staff as a key step up the ladder.  Nick Saban has hired Lane Kiffin 2014-16, Brian Daboll-2017, Mike Locksley-2018,Steve Sarkanian 2019-20, Bill O’Brian 2021-22 to be his Offensive Coordinator. All had NFL experience prior to the Bama experience. Keep in mind that Bama has fielded a top 20-Offense for 7 straight years. Sooo..it’s really Nick Saban’s offense with new ideas, new wrinkles being supplemented by different, clever, younger yet experienced OC’s annually.

…one local NFL player from Parkway West HS, has parlayed “JUMPING SHIP”   into a profitable career. Blaine Gabbert has parlayed a career of “Backing Up” the #1 QB(for the most part) and Jumping at just the right time during his 11 year career!  He’s been on 5 teams, has over 9300 yards in passing while earning over $26m in his career ! Congrats!!

…In the MLB, in 2021 there were 179 “free” agents. 144 (79%) JUMPED SHIP to a different team while 35 remained with the original club.  One may surmise that many players wanted a “clean slate” to start the next year with a higher salary (in the vast majority of the times).   

….The Blues have JUMPED SHIP from the past as they dive into “the future waters”. The trade of Tarasenko will be the 1st of a major shakeup. The Blues have slipped badly this year. In the NHL(32 teams) the Blues are 25th in points; 21st  in goals; 18th in power play goals; 26th in goals against/gm; 19th in shots against. According to NHL experts, the Blues have a 1% chance of winning the Cup..ugh! Numbers speak louder than words (usually)—those numbers hit us right in the face. The Blues have just begun working towards the next Cup team…let’s hope it doesn’t take another 50 years!

…The answer to the quiz is Jerome “Dizzy” Dean. Most of you know the story that a line drive him on his foot in the All-Star game. He returned far too soon (like the next start) and ruined his arm and lost his fastball. He hung around on the roster for a couple more yeas as a “junk” ball pitcher but was never close to his first few years. Please Note from my clue that he was only paid if he pitched. There wasn’t a paid DL back then. Soooo….he went right back to pitching immediately. As they say…you know the rest of the story.

…I’m JUMPING SHIP RIGHT NOW!! Thanks for not “JUMPING SHIP” on me some place earlier in this Buzz!  I appreciate your time & read!  YOUR thoughts are always invited. If you don’t agree, or think that an addendum is needed, that’s fine. Take Care…have a great week!  Bob

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