NCAA rule change means athletes no longer need permission to transfer

Grant SmithJun 14, 2018

A new transfer rule, which goes into effect October 15, removes the previous requirement that athletes must seek permission from their current schools before letting other schools know they'd like to transfer.

It removes the upper hand that schools have long held over student-athletes looking to transfer.

Student athletes at the Division I level now have five years to play up to four seasons.

Upon being entered into the database, college coaches will be allowed to contact the athlete freely and without permission.

Student-athletes have five years to complete four seasons of competition, so the new rule will allow an athlete to use a redshirt, if it hasn't been previously used, in up to four games of competition during the season.

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

"The Division I Council adopted a proposal this week that creates a new "notification-of-transfer" model", the NCAA writes.

As of now, this rule does not apply to sports other than college football, but the Division I Student-Athlete Experience Committee is examining "how a similar concept could be applied to other sports, including what number of games would be appropriate", according to the NCAA's release. The change will come with stricter tampering rules to help appease coaches who worry illegal recruiting could rise.

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.

Nicholas Clark, a former football player at Coastal Carolina and a student representative on the council, said the change promotes fairness and the well-being of college athletes. The new rule was developed based on a series of principles the Division I Board of Directors developed for the working group, including any rule changes should support the academic success of student-athletes, be based on data and create the least restrictive environment possible for student-athletes. "This will clean the process up and give more influence and flexibility to the student-athlete". "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", Division I Council chair Blake James said. The so-called autonomy conferences will consider two different proposals to allow schools to cancel the aid. As you can guess, coaches have been pushing for this for a while now and this is a pretty big victory for them and for players, who will all be able to see action on the field as freshman and not have it take a year away from them.

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