The knock on professional athletes is that they'll readily abandon their fans for a bigger contract. Not so for college players, who–ostensibly free from financial temptations–supposedly have true connections to their schools. So why can't colleges hold on to their top recruits?
The maps above chart the paths of the Top 10 QBs, in the recruiting class of 2010, according to ESPN. Move the slider left to see their original schools, and right to see where they'll be this fall as they enter what would be their senior seasons. Only three have stuck around—Blake Bell, Devin Gardner, and Chase Rettig. Even the pros have more staying power: of the first 10 QBs taken in the 2010 NFL draft, four are still with the teams that selected them.
Credit to Reddit user checkag for the research. I didn't want to clutter the map, but among the recruits 11-20 there were five more transfers. For players buried on depth charts, these moves may be the only way to get the playing time and exposure needed for a shot at the NFL —so in the end, it's still about the money.
For "academic" reasons, the NCAA generally penalizes transferring athletes by making them sit out a season. A lot of athletes transfer anyway: in 2010-2011 it was 996 D-I football players, and 809 D-I men's and women's basketball players. Forty percent of men's basketball players are not playing for their original school by the end of their sophomore seasons. Something's broken here.