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CIS Will Allow Canadians to Return Without Penalty

Travis Paterson of Victoria News:

Canadian Interuniversity Sport announced Tuesday it has removed its one-year penalty for Canadian student-athletes who transfer from the NCAA. Athletes can now return to Canada and play for a CIS team without sitting out a season which they previously had to do.

CIS is Canada’s version of the NCAA. The transfer change was one of three major motions passed by the CIS membership, the other two being a new five-year strategic plan and a pilot program for increased financial aid in women’s hockey. In contrast to the mood about transfer rules in the NCAA, the eligibility repatriation rule passed with 98% approval.

The new CIS rule will lead to more Canadian athletes crossing the border in both directions. Obviously more Canadian athletes will return from the NCAA when they can without penalty. More Canadian athletes will also accept offers from NCAA institutions, secure in the knowledge they can return home and play immediately in CIS.

This raises questions about how the NCAA interacts with CIS. The NCAA and CIS do not treat each other as peer associations. For instance, neither the NCAA or CIS requires its members to get permission to recruit student-athletes enrolled at the other’s member institutions. This is in contrast to the relationship between the NAIA and NCAA (both require some form of release when athletes transfer between the two) and CIS’s requirement that members notify Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association members when they recruit CCAA student-athlete.

The two organizations are become more intermingled, with the NCAA opening up membership to Canadian institutions and this change from CIS. It would be good for both to come to some agreement about how the members of the two associations should interact with each other.

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