NCAA Updates Transfer Rules

The NCAA is changing the way student-athletes transfer institutions beginning October 2018. No longer will student-athletes have to request permission from their current schools with the possibility of being told no or being restricted as to where they may transfer. The new process “notification of transfer” will allow student-athletes to inform their current school of their intent to transfer. Upon notification of the student-athlete’s intent to transfer, the new school will be required to enter the student-athlete’s name into a national  database within two (2) business days. Then other college coaches will be able to access the database and to contact the student-athletes directly.

One of the reasons for the old transfer process was to discourage coaches from trying to recruit student-athletes from one school to attend and to compete for a different school. With the new notification of transfer model, if a school attempts to tamper with another school’s student-athletes, the coach may be found to have committed a Level 2 NCAA violation for significant breach of conduct.

A goal of the new transfer model is to separate the student-athlete’s desire to transfer to a different school from the ability of the transfer student-athlete to receive a scholarship at the new college or university. Previously, if the student-athlete’s school did not agree to a complete release, the student-athlete could not receive an athletic scholarship at the new school in the initial year of transfer.

The new transfer rule will prohibit individual schools from placing restrictions on where student-athletes may transfer. However, Conferences will still be able to create transfer rules that are more restrictive than the NCAA transfer rule.

The Autonomy Conferences, Atlantic Coast Conference, Big 10, Big 12, Pac 12, and Southeastern Athletic Conference, voted to allow a student-athlete’s original institution to cancel the athletic scholarship of the student-athlete upon notification of intent to transfer. The athletics aid cannot be canceled during the term of notification, but the athletics aid may be awarded to a new student beginning with the subsequent enrollment term after notification of intent to transfer.

Transfer student-athletes are still required to sit a year in residence before being eligible to compete unless the student-athlete qualifies for one of the limited transfer exceptions. Academic eligibility requirements for transfer student-athletes remain. However, there is a proposal that would allow transfer student-athletes to compete in the year of transfer if they meet a certain to be determined grade-point-average standard. Stay tuned.

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