The impact of transfers on the WSU basketball program


Morgan Anderson

Wichita State players stand togther and look to Head Coach Gregg Marshall after a foul was called during the first half of the game against VCU on Saturday inside Charles Koch Arena. Sherfield, Burton and Stevenson have all transferred away from the program.

Wichita State’s roster was greatly affected this past season by transfers after seven players transferred out of the program, including six scholarship players. 

Teams throughout the American Athletic Conference have also been impacted by transfers but not quite to the point that WSU has. The closest transfer number to WSU’s was  Tulsa University who had four players transfer out of the program. 

After the recent news of the investigation in Gregg Marshall’s alleged misconduct, the number of transfers in recent history from WSU has stood out. The Shockers have had 22 players transfer out of the program since 2015 which is the second-most in the American Athletic Conference, only behind the University of Memphis. 

Memphis has had three different head coaches since 2015 including Josh Pastner and Tubby Smith before hiring Penny Hardaway back in 2018. Meanwhile, WSU has been consistent with Marshall at the helm since he was hired as head coach back in 2007. 

Of the AAC schools that have had only one head coach since 2015, the Shockers have had the most transfers among the three programs. Tulsa and Houston have had 16 and 12 transfers since 2015 respectively. 

Throughout recent years, the number of Division-I transfers had plateaued before another increase in this offseason. In 2020, there was a total of 1,033 transfers which was an increase from 994 transfers last year. 

Another big factor in transfers this summer has been the amount that receives hardship waivers. Typically some type of circumstance including family-related issues can result in a hardship waiver to allow them to play right without having to sit out a season. 

Graphic: Morgan Anderson

Of the five WSU transfers who went to other Division-I schools, four have received waivers to be able to play immediately. Erik Stevenson is the lone former Shocker to not receive a waiver. His waiver request is currently pending. 

With only seven transfer waiver requests denied, there has been a high amount of waivers granted by the NCAA in 2020.  In total, 127 transfer waivers have been approved while 107 waiver requests are currently pending. Currently, of all the transfer waiver requests 52.7% have been approved while only 0.03% of all requests have been denied. 

Given the uncertainty surrounding Marshall’s standing with the program, there are many variables contract-wise if WSU decides to terminate his contract. Marshall is currently signed through 2021 and is making a salary of $3.5 million each year. 

If WSU decides to terminate Marshall’s contract it must fit within the best interests of the program and the university. The termination must also fit under “good cause”. According to Marshall’s contract, this includes his refusal to perform his duties as head coach, failure to supervise his coaching staff and provide oversight, convicted of a felony, insubordination and as determined by the University President an act of dishonesty and discreditable conduct. 

If Marshall is terminated and it is not determined to be in “good cause”, the university must pay Marshall either $15 million or the remaining amount left on his contract.