Pastner: New grad-transfer rule could help Georgia Tech

In the flow of NCAA legislation that was passed in recent days was a rule change that Georgia Tech basketball coach Josh Pastner believes could provide help to the Yellow Jackets.

The decision by the Division I Council permits grad transfers to pursue an additional undergraduate degree instead of requiring them to enroll in a post-graduate program. Pastner called it “a great rule.”

According to Pastner, Tech’s graduate offerings have sometimes been an impediment in his recruitment of grad transfers.

“I’ve had multiple kids tell me, ‘Coach, I don’t want to do a master’s at Georgia Tech,’ ” Pastner told the AJC Friday.

Tech’s undergraduate program is no walk in the park, either, but the degrees might be more palatable and attainable. One reason that the NCAA made the change was “some tension between various academic departments and athletic departments, referring to athletes who arrive as grad transfers with little intention of actually completing their degree. According to a 2019 study by the NCAA, half of grad transfers completed their degrees in a two-year time period.

“For a school like Georgia Tech, there’s limited spots for master’s programs,” Pastner said.

Tech has pursued no shortage of grad transfers since Pastner’s hire and has landed three – Jodan Price, Kellen McCormick and Brandon Alston. All three did finish their master’s degrees, Price in building construction, McCormick in integrated facility and property management and Alston in economics. The first two graduate transfers signed by football coach Geoff Collins – Tyler Davis and Jared Southers – also both earned their master’s degrees, in economics.