Update: NCAA Transfer Rule

As we have previously covered, the NCAA recently changed their transfer rules. In the past, student-athletes went through a “permission to contact” process. This process limited their ability to transfer as their current college coaches were able to block the athlete from transferring to certain schools. Now, starting in October 2018, the NCAA has shifted to a “notification” system that will allow the athletes to transfer without coaches’ permission.

However, on June 19, 2018, various NCAA conferences, including the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big TenConference, Big 12 Conference, Pac-12 Conference, and Southeastern Conference, voted to make transferring a bigger risk for college-athletes. While players no longer have to get permission from their current schools, they still have to give their schools notice of “intent” to transfer. The recent vote allows NCAA schools “to cancel a student’s scholarship at the end of a term if the student-athlete notifies the school of an impending transfer.” Further, “[s]chools can cancel the aid of a student-athlete as soon as he or she provides written notification of transfer, but the aid may not be reduced or canceled until the end of the term.” The various NCAA conferences, also known as the Power 5, have the power to vote on rule changes for certain issues and the remaining NCAA conferences usually follow suit.

According to Noah Knight, of the NCAA’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee and former Missouri-Kansas City basketball player, “[i]n fairness to the transfer student-athlete’s teammates, coaching staff and overall team dynamic, the Division I SAAC felt that a student-athlete should not be able to give notification, search for other opportunities, then return to their institution if dissatisfied with their options with no repercussions.”

It is important to note that players will not be pulled from class mid-semester nor will they lose their scholarship during the academic term. According to a tweet from Dennis Dan of CBS Sports, “[t]ransfer reform not so much: Per legislation passed today, those merely notifying school of transfer in summer after semester is over — there are many — can have their aid cancelled immediately.” The NCAA has referred to the lasted change in its transfer rules as an “expected next step.”

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