IMO, the NCAA's PR about the "year in residence" is crap. They say it "encourages them to make decisions motivated by academics as well as athletics." The rule was introduced in 1991. I don't believe any numbers from the NCAA about increased graduation rates as a result of that rule. Heck, I can't even find any numbers to support that argument.
And if the year in residence is so important, why does it only apply to D1 football, baseball, basketball and men’s ice hockey? Everyone else is using the one-time exception. Is it because those are the sports with the lowest graduation rates, or is it because those are the sports with big money? BTW, those "year in residence" kids can still practice, so how much additional free time do they really have?
At least the NCAA was discussing a change to the rule this year ("four-year transfer student-athletes who meet specific grade-point average and progress-toward-degree requirements be able to compete immediately at the second school.")
Seems like the simplest thing would be to allow kids to compete the next year as long as the previous coach signs off on it. That would at least solve most of the problem like pabaseballdad's kid ran into. I'm sure most of these coaches who feel like they have to over-recruit don't feel good about blocking a kid's options after they let them go.