The NCAA Division I Transfer Working Group will spend the next several months seeking feedback on potential revisions to the organization’s current rules regarding student athletes and their eligibility as transfers.
In an outline released by the NCAA today, the group will request feedback on a number of exceptions to the current transfer rules that could allow significantly more athletes the chance to play right away at a new school after transferring.
Here are the main exceptions under consideration:
- “Allow students who meet specific, high-achieving academic benchmarks to play immediately after the first time they transfer during their college experience”
- “Allow prospective student-athletes who have signed a National Letter of Intent to transfer and play immediately if a head coach leaves the school of the student’s choice, as well as under other exceptions already in the rulebook. Because the Collegiate Commissioners Association manages the NLI, this idea would be referred to the CCA for consideration.”
The release also anticipates your next question of ‘why not just let there be free transfers for everyone?’
“The working group is not considering — and never entertained — a model that would allow all student-athletes to transfer and compete immediately. Member schools noted that such a rule change would not lead to more student-athletes achieving academic success and graduating.”
The group hopes to have received and reviewed feedback in time to have a proposal ready to package with another transfer rules modification proposal, which is set to be voted upon in June by the Division I Council. That already existing proposal “would eliminate the ability of coaches and schools to restrict aid to student-athletes after transferring.”
For student athletes who could potentially transfer and play immediately due to strong academics, the NCAA states that “the standard for immediate competition would include a minimum grade-point average, possibly a 3.0 or above, and the student would have to be on track to graduate within five years at the new school.”
“The exception would be available once during a student-athlete’s college experience. Student-athletes would not be able to compete at two schools the same academic year. Additionally, if a student transfers to a school that later is found to have recruited that student in violation of NCAA rules, that student would not be eligible to compete immediately at that school.”
The other exceptions for immediate eligibility on which the group wants further feedback and discussion are student-athletes with a degree, student-athletes whose program’s head coach changes, particularly with recruits who have signed with a school, and walk-on athletes.
The release does note that individual conferences will continue to be free to set their own policies.