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

NCAA announces transfer redshirt rule changes

The rule will put an end to a debatable practice wherein a DI coach would prevent an athlete wishing to transfer from contacting specific schools (usually rival schools).

The NCAA announced on Wednesday a change to its redshirt rules, which will now allow a player to participate in up to four games without without losing his redshirt.

"This change promotes not only fairness for college athletes, but also their health and well-being". The new process allows the athlete to notify his current school of his desire to transfer and will then require the school to enter the student's name into a database within two business days of the request.

In years past, if a player wanted to leave a school, the school, if it granted the player permission to contact other schools, could place restrictions on the school the player speaks to.

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. Last spring at Kansas State, reserve receiver Corey Sutton said he was blocked him from transferring to 35 schools by coach Bill Snyder before the school finally relented amid public pressure. The Division I Board of Directors developed a series of principles to guide the Transfer Working group, which included that any rule changes should "support the academic success of student-athletes", and "be based on data and create the least restrictive environment possible for student-athletes".

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. The Big Ten, for example, has an intra-conference transfer rule that forces athletes who transfer from one conference school to another to sit out a year in all sports. There was never serious consideration to lifting the year-in-residence altogether, but tying unrestricted transfer to an athlete's grade-point average was considered.

"Another financial aid element, autonomy legislation that governs when a school can reduce or cancel aid, may be adjusted next week by the autonomy conferences". Currently, a student's notification of intent to transfer at the end of a term is not one of the listed reasons a school can use to cancel aid. The autonomy conferences will consider, by an electronic vote, two different proposals to allow schools to cancel the aid. Now that will be re-examined in the fall.

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