Former Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson is deciding where he wants to play his last year of college football, but his release from a scholarship with the Fighting Irish makes the decision a little easier.
By way of elimination, that is.
Notre Dame didn't grant Golson a release to schools on Notre Dame's 2015 schedule, according to Fox Sports. That would include schools such as Texas, Boston College, Virginia, Georgia Tech, Stanford, Pittsburgh, Clemson, USC and Wake Forest, among others. Notre Dame would also block a transfer to some Big Ten schools, per the report.
However, Golson provided Notre Dame with a list of roughly 10 potential transfer destinations from "Power Five" conferences, and none were blocked, according to ESPN. Among those were Florida State, Alabama, South Carolina and at least one program from the Pac-12. None of the schools on the list are on Notre Dame's 2015 schedule, per ESPN.
Typically, the head coach of a program from which a transfer is leaving, in this case Notre Dame's Brian Kelly, sets the terms of a scholarship release. Presumably, because Notre Dame recruits directly against some of the top programs in the Big Ten, Kelly wouldn't want Golson playing for one of those programs for recruiting reasons.
Golson's freedom to transfer to an SEC school is also problematic, although not by Kelly's doing. An SEC bylaw would prohibit Golson from joining the league because of his academic suspension for the 2013 season at Notre Dame, although he could receive a waiver on the bylaw.
Because Golson has earned a degree, he is not subject to the NCAA rule that requires undergraduate student-athletes to sit out a season after a transfer from one FBS school to another. Under the graduate transfer rule, Golson can transfer to any school without sitting out as long as he pursues a graduate-school program that is not offered at his previous school. The SEC also requires a waiver for such transfers, though there is plenty of precedent for it. Former Ole Miss quarterback Jeremiah Masoli was a graduate transfer from Oregon, Alabama's Jacob Coker was such a transfer from FSU, and the waiver requirement didn't hamper Auburn's recruitment of Russell Wilson, who chose Wisconsin over AU after leaving North Carolina State.
Golson passed for 3,445 yards last season, but after drawing criticism from Kelly for his frequent turnovers, speculation began before the season even ended that a transfer could be in the offseason works.