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NCAA Leadership Council Scales Back Potential Transfer Changes

Back in January, the NCAA Division I Leadership Council was looking at fairly significant changes to the NCAA’s transfer rules. Those changes might have created a virtual free agency; ideas floated included allowing any player with a 2.600 GPA or higher to transfer without sitting out at least once.

A few months on, and the athletic directors on the Leadership Council have toned the potential changes down significantly. From the report of the Leadership Council’s April 2013 meeting report:

Based on the fact that the number of four-year transfer student-athletes was not overly significant, the subcommittee noted that wholesale changes of the transfer rules do not appear to be necessary, nor does a change to the current residence requirement in football, basketball and baseball.

That means any changes coming will likely not include allowing athletes in the revenue sports to transfer without sitting out, even using the one-time transfer exception. The Leadership Council did endorse an academic nexus for changes to the transfer rules. The one-time transfer exception could eventually be tied to higher academic requirements (like a 2.600 GPA), even if it does not expand to football, basketball, and baseball.

What will go forward and receive more attention are possible changes to the permission to contact rules:

In addition, the subcommittee would like to further explore the effectiveness of the permission to contact requirement, as well as whether it is most appropriate to tie the rule to the ability to receive athletics aid at the next institution.

Tying permission to contact to something other than financial aid was part of the original principles the Leadership Council was working on in January. Studying the effectiveness of permission to contact itself is interesting and may lead to something like the Division III self-release.

Finally, the Leadership Council will look at waivers of the transfer residence requirement, specifically the guidelines for those waivers being granted and data on how often they are sought and granted. Given the lack of consensus about waivers (i.e. some say there are too many, some say there are too few), that review could go off in any direction.

Are you ready for the NEXT STEP!