NCAA Rule Change Will Prohibit Schools from Blocking Student-Athlete Transfers

NCAA announces transfer, redshirt rule changes

Division I Eliminates Permission-to-Contact Transfer Process

The NCAA announced on rule change on Wednesday that allows for redshirted college football players to play in as many as four games during the course of a season without having to burn their redshirt year. The new redshirt rule takes effect this season. "This new system allows a student to inform his or her current school of a desire to transfer, then requires that school to enter the student's name into a national transfer database within two business days". Players have five years to play four seasons, but the rule is not retroactive. That rule was meant to stop DI coaches from recruiting athletes from other DI schools. The NCAA notes, however, that conferences can enact rules that are more restrictive than the national rule.

The NCAA's Transfer Working Group proposed the change in fall 2017 in an attempt to separate a student-athlete's interest in transferring to a new school from the process of receiving a scholarship at the new school.

The Division I Council officially approved a new rule on Wednesday that will eliminate the permission-to-contact process when a student-athlete transfers programs.

Over the past few months, CBS reported multiple other transfer proposals, including one that would force all student-athletes to sit out a year after transferring, and another that would lessen the mandated time out for students who meet a certain GPA threshold.

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.

Additionally, in the next week or so, legislation regarding financial aid could be modified. Currently, a student's notification of intent to transfer at the end of a term is not a listed reason a school can use to cancel aid. While those discussions continue, that rule has yet to be changed.

Former Coastal Carolina football player Nick Clark, who represents the Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee on the Division I Council, likes the transparency of the new rule. "This will clean the process up and give more influence and flexibility to the student-athlete". "Coaches will appreciate the additional flexibility and ability to give younger players an opportunity to participate in limited competition".

The previous rule was scrutinized as transferring players were limited in what schools they were able to choose from after being blocked from specific programs. "Redshirt football student-athletes are more likely to remain engaged with the team, and starters will be less likely to feel pressure to play through injuries", Miami AD Blake James said.

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