NCAA eases rules on athlete transfers

Jose Verdugo
Junio 13, 2018

The NCAA has passed a rule that allows college football players to play up to four games without burning their redshirt.

"The change promotes not only fairness for college athletes, but also their health and well-being", said Miami (Florida) athletic director Blake James, who doubles as the chair of the Division I council. "Coaches will appreciate the additional flexibility and ability to give younger players an opportunity to participate in limited competition".

Penn State head coach James Franklin had previously spoke in favor of the rule back when it was tabled in April, but the mid-June decision to push forward with the proposal will mean that any of the program's Class of 2018 signees, which will all be on campus by the end of the month, could see action at any point this season without being negatively impacted, as long as they do not play in more than four games.

The NCAA Division I Council announced Wednesday that it will adopt a new proposal that allows student-athletes to transfer without getting the permission of their current institution.

Under the new rule, athletes would be permitted to be contacted when they notify their current coaches, who have two days to enter the names into a database created and managed by the NCAA that will alert schools who can be recruited.

In years past, if a player wanted to leave a school, the school, if it granted the player permission to contact other schools, could place restrictions on the school the player speaks to. "I'm proud of the effort the Transfer Working Group put forth to make this happen for student-athletes, coaches and schools".

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With the rule change, schools can't prevent specific programs from contacting a transferring student-athlete.

However, under the new system, individual conferences can agree on their own transfer rules - like mandating time off of competion when an athlete transfers within his or her conference. Applications for the rule to be applied to other Division I sports is now being looked at by the council.

Perhaps the bigger overarching rule that was adopted by the NCAA Division I Council earlier in the week was a new "notification-of-transfer" model. Golfers, tennis players and other athletes in traditionally nonrevenue sports can transfer one time without sitting out.

Players wanting to transfer previously had to request permission from their school to be released from their scholarship before seeking other options.

The NCAA said legislation that governs when a Power Five school can reduce or cancel financial aid for an athlete may be looked at next week.

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