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Transfer Waiver Change Could Be Adopted This Week

The discussed changes to transfer waivers for revenue sport athletes will go to the full Leadership Council this week at the NCAA Convention. The Leadership Council will be asked to approve the recommendations of the subcommittee and send them to the Board of Directors for final approval.

The changes are not NCAA legislation, rather than are amendments to the policies that the Subcommittee for Legislative Relief and corresponding NCAA staff use to grant or deny waivers. The transfer subcommittee is presenting two possible changes:

  1. No immediate eligibility for any transfer waiver, including family hardship and graduate transfer waivers. The existing guidelines would be used at the time of transfer to determine whether an athlete should receive an extension to his or her five-year clock.
  2. Immediate eligibility would still be available, but only in cases where a family member has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. This is consistent with current practice where a terminal diagnosis trumps all other considerations in the waiver process. In all other cases, the same changes as option one would be implemented.

The graduate transfer exception would not be touched under either change, only the graduate transfer waiver. The exception is for athletes who are transferring for the first time after graduating. The waiver is typically used by athletes who have already transferred before during their undergraduate career.

The subcommittee recommended option one, no immediate eligibility in any hardship waiver case, including terminal illnesses. The changes would be implemented for student-athletes who transfer for the 2014–15 academic year (that is, initially enroll at the new institution for Fall 2014). So athletes who want to transfer and think they might have a case for immediate eligibility should do so now if they still can.

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