NCAA passes reform that allows athletes to transfer without permission

A new policy adopted this week by the NCAA will allow student-athletes playing football at the Football Bowl Subdivision and Football Championship Subdivision levels to play in four games in a season without using a season of competition.

It removes the upper hand that schools have long held over student-athletes looking to transfer.

The proposal, which will go into effect beginning October 15, states athletes will have the freedom to transfer without getting permission from their current school. The NCAA release does say, however, that conferences can still make rules within this process that are more restrictive than the national rule.

The old rule was meant to discourage other schools from tampering with student-athletes.

The Division I Student-Athlete Experience Committee will examine how a similar rule could be applied to other sports and will consult with the Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, according to the NCAA.

The benefits are many, Division I Council chairman Blake James said in an NCAA news release on Wednesday.

Under the new ruling, a true freshman could come in and play up to four games at any point during the season and still have four full seasons of eligibility remaining.

The executive director of the American Football Coaches Association and former Louisiana-Monroe head coach had been pushing for almost two decades to change the NCAA's rules regarding redshirts. Once the name is in the database, other coaches can contact that student.

In recent seasons, Stoops also has lamented having to play guys who probably needed an extra year of development to reach their full potential, specifically mentioning players like defensive back Marcus McWilson and wide receiver Charles Walker.

The previous transfer rule, which required student-athletes to get permission from their current school to contact another school before they can receive a scholarship after transfer, was meant to discourage coaches from recruiting student-athletes from other Division I schools. Then, the school will have two days to put the student's name in a national transfer data base. If he played in one more game, he would not have been eligible for a medical redshirt. That idea has fallen off the table amid concerns about creating an inequitable system that could face legal challenges. The so-called autonomy conferences will consider two different proposals to allow schools to cancel the aid.

Beyond this change, the Transfer Working Group is considering other transfer issues, including the processes surrounding postgraduate transfers.

  • Stacy Allen