NCAA passes reform that allows athletes to transfer without permission

Doug Mendoza
June 14, 2018

The first, beginning October 15 student-athletes will be able to transfer and receive a scholarship without asking their current school for permission across all sports.

Under the new guidelines, athletes will simply notify their current school of their desire to transfer.

The new rule was passed with players that are struck down by early-season injuries in mind, but will also allow players that are used sparingly to prolong their college careers, creating more opportunity for athletes to contribute on the field of competition.

American Football Coaches Association executive director Todd Berry lobbied for the redshirt rule change for years and reiterated it had "unanimous" support from the coaches. At that point, coaches from other schools are free to contact the student.

Virginia football coach Bronco Mendenhall has been an outspoken proponent of the NCAA changing its redshirt rules to allow younger players the chance to get some limited game experience without losing a full year of eligibility. The new rule will allow football players to not use up a season if they play in a small number of games due to an injury or other possible situations.

Transfer candidates previously needed permission to contact other programs.

The NCAA has made several attempts in recent years to change transfer rules, but this is the first to come up with something substantive - if not comprehensive.

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This new rule comes following a recommendation from the NCAA's 19-member Division I Transfer Working Group, who studied, researched and debated the issue for six months. While those discussions continue, that rule has yet to be changed.

"This change promotes not only fairness for college athletes, but also their health and well-being", NCAA Division I Council chair and Miami athletic director Blake James said in a statement.

To address one specific concern, the Council specified that midyear enrollees can not use the exception to play a bowl game before their first academic term.

Though the national rule is changing, individual conferences still have the right to implement more restrictive transfer rules. "This will clean the process up and give more influence and flexibility to the student-athlete".

"This creates a safe place for student-athletes to have a conversation with their coaches and makes the whole process more transparent", said Nicholas Clark, a Division I student-athlete advisory committee representative. Within two days, the school must enter the athlete's name into a national transfer database. The autonomy conferences will consider, by an electronic vote, two different proposals to allow schools to cancel the aid.

Starting this fall college football players will now be able to take part in up to four games and still keep their redshirt.

Other reports by GizPress

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