NCAA Considering More Changes to Transfer Rules

On October 5, 2018, the NCAA Division I Council announced that it plans, in 2019, to vote on four changes to transfer proposals. As we previously reported, in June 2018, the NCAA and various conferences voted to change student-athletes transfer rules. Previously, student-athletes went through a “permission to contact” process. The 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.

In 2019, the NCAA will vote on four new transfer proposals. The four proposals would: (1) allow student-athletes who have enrolled in summer school and received athletics financial aid to transfer and play immediately if their head coach departs before the first day of classes for the fall term. (2) Allow walk-on student-athletes on teams that provide athletics aid and nonrecruited walk-ons to transfer and play immediately. (3) Require schools to count financial aid for postgraduate transfers who receive athletics aid and have one season of eligibility remaining in football, women’s basketball and men’s basketball against team limits for two years, regardless of whether the student-athlete remains enrolled after exhausting athletics eligibility. However, a student who successfully completes all degree requirements before the start of the second year would not count in the second year. (4) Prohibit student-athletes in all sports from competing during the championship season for two different schools in the same academic year.

The proposals are seen as adjustments to the earlier June 2018 rule changes. Justin Sell, Athletics Director at South Dakota State, said, “[o]ver the last year and a half, we learned that we can work together to solve complex issues, and we accomplished so much.” Nicholas Clark, Co-Chair of the Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, said, “I believe these are student-athlete friendly and support an atmosphere of fairness. Every meeting of the working group, the student-athlete voice was pivotal.” The NCAA will vote on the rule proposals in April 2019.

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