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NCAA Division I recently approved a change to the “One-Time Transfer Rule.” This change now allows an athlete to transfer to an NCAA Division I program with the opportunity to be eligible in their first year at the new university – even if the athlete was a scholarship athlete in baseball, basketball, football or men’s ice hockey at their previous university.

A consequence of this new rule which has not been well-publicized is that a potential second transfer to a 3rd Division I university will become much more difficult for the 2022-23 academic year or thereafter.

The One-Time Transfer Rule is – as the name implies – available for an athlete to use one time when they transfer to an NCAA university.

However, when an athlete transfers the second time, the options for transfer a second time with immediate eligibility have been limited.

Waivers for a second transfer are currently a possibility in certain situations including personal or family financial hardship, the injury/illness of a family member, mental health concerns, or no participation opportunity if the athlete had stayed at their previous school.

New Transfer Waiver guidelines for scholarship athletes who will be transferring a second time to Division I for the 2022-23 academic year will go into effect on January 1, 2022.

Under these new guidelines, the ONLY reasons that will be accepted by the NCAA for an athlete to be immediately eligible are:

  • A student-athlete is facing a “real and imminent health and safety” threat, or;
  • A student-athlete with an education-impacting disability is leaving a school because support services and/or treatment are inadequate or unavailable.

Do You Have Questions?

If you have questions about the Transfer Rules and how these new guidelines could impact your athlete’s future, schedule a confidential Transfer Consult online, send an email to rick@informedathlete.com or call 913-766-1235.

The NCAA Division I Board of Directors recently ratified and made official the new One-Time Transfer Rule.

As a result, any four-year college athlete – even a full scholarship athlete in the sports of baseball, basketball, football or men’s ice hockey – will have the opportunity to be eligible in their first year as a transfer to an NCAA Division I university without the need to serve a “year in residence” before they can compete for their new team.

The new rule takes effect immediately. This means that an athlete transferring this summer to a Division I university will be able to be eligible as soon as next Fall as long as they meet the required conditions.

Those conditions are:

  • Transfer from any four-year college to an NCAA Division I university.
  • Must be academically eligible at the school the athlete is leaving. (In addition, the NEW school must certify that Progress Toward Degree requirements are satisfied.)
  • Athlete has not transferred previously from a four-year university.
  • Athlete and new head coach must certify in writing that there was no direct or indirect communication between the athlete and the athletic staff at the new university before entering the Transfer Portal.
  • Any athlete planning to use this new rule to transfer to a Division I university for next year must submit their name for the Transfer Portal by July 1.

NOTE for any athletes who transferred to a Division I university in the middle of this current 2020-21 academic year:

If you were required at the time of your midyear transfer to serve a “year in residence” at your new university, you may also be able to use this new rule to become eligible next Fall.

Do you Have Questions?

If you need advice regarding how this rule impacts your student-athlete, schedule a confidential Transfer consultation online, by calling 913-766-1235 or sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

On Twitter last week, Bryan Fischer, an Athlon Sports Writer and Editor, tweeted that “…NCAA is moving forward with one-time transfers. D1 Council will vote on a waiver to allow one-time transfers for the upcoming year (2021-22) at their April meeting after the Final Four.”

Let’s assume that Mr. Fischer’s info is accurate. This will not actually be a legislative change to the Division I One-Time Transfer rule but will instead be a waiver that will apply only for this upcoming academic year.

While I have not yet seen anything reported about this on the NCAA website or on their social media accounts, I believe that the following conditions will apply for the waiver to be approved:

  • An athlete will only be able to use this waiver on their first transfer from any four-year college and will obviously need to have eligibility remaining.
  • The athlete will need to be academically eligible upon departure from the previous university. That university will need to be able to state that the athlete would be eligible for competition if the athlete was staying at or returning to that university for the upcoming semester or academic year.
  • The Division I university to which an athlete transfers from another four-year university will likely be allowed to automatically approve this waiver as long as the athlete satisfies the conditions listed above and satisfies the academic requirements to be eligible (including meeting the “progress-toward-degree” requirements) at the new university.

For a discussion of this One-Time Transfer waiver, schedule a confidential Transfer Consult to review the transfer rules and academic requirements that will apply to your student-athlete. You can also contact us by sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com or by calling 913-766-1235.

Those of you who are regular followers of our newsletters or readers of our blog may recall that the NCAA Transfer Working Group has been discussing possible changes to Waiver guidelines.

These proposed changes would make it possible for scholarship student-athletes in baseball, basketball, football and men’s ice hockey to receive a transfer waiver which will basically give them the same “One-Time Transfer Exception” that is currently available to athletes in other sports.

If passed, athletes in the above listed sports will be eligible in their first year at a new school as long as they satisfy the academic requirements for a transfer.

While no action was taken on these proposed changes at Friday’s Division I Council meeting, the meeting summary indicates that they “…could vote on the guidelines changes next month.”

We’ll be sure to provide an update if this vote takes place in May as expected.

The NCAA Division I Transfer Waiver Working Group recently announced that they will likely propose a change to the Division I transfer waiver considerations.

If adopted by the Division I Council in April, scholarship athletes in the sports of baseball, basketball, football, and men’s ice hockey will essentially be able to use the One-Time Transfer Exception to be immediately eligible at their new university.

Currently, scholarship athletes in the Division I sports noted above can’t use the One-Time Transfer Exception that is available to student-athletes in all other sports. However, they can still seek waivers for immediate eligibility when they transfer due to “…extenuatlng and extraordinary circumstances.”

The Transfer Waiver Working Group noted that the large number of waivers being processed has “…strained the waiver process” hence the proposed change to the waiver criteria.

If adopted, such transfer waivers could be approved as long as the transferring student-athlete:

  • Receives a transfer release from their previous university,
  • Leaves their previous university while academically eligible,
  • Meets the academic requirements to maintain their academic progress at their new university, and
  • Is not under disciplinary suspension when they leave their previous university.

There are a couple of key points to keep in mind.

  • First, a student-athlete’s previous university will need to provide a transfer release as noted above. The university will still have the right to object to an athlete’s transfer. If they do so, they will be required to offer an opportunity for an appeal to the student-athlete.
  • Second, the Transfer Waiver Working Group will be seeking feedback from Division I student-athlete representatives, coaches associations, athletic directors, and conference offices prior to the Division I Council’s April meeting. Given the concerns of some high-profile coaches and athletic directors, it’s quite possible that additional conditions could be required of transferring student-athletes, such as a minimum GPA.

If adopted by the Division I Council at their April meeting, the new waiver criteria will be available for scholarship student-athletes to be immediately eligible when transferring to a Division I baseball, basketball, football, or men’s ice hockey program for Fall 2020.

We’ll be sure to keep you updated as we learn of new developments.

To discuss a possible transfer for your athlete, schedule a confidential transfer consult online or contact us at 913-766-1235 or by sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

Scholarship student-athletes (in sports other than baseball, basketball, football, and men’s ice hockey) who wish to transfer to an NCAA Division I program and be immediately eligible at their new school must meet two conditions:

  • The athlete must be academically eligible at the school they are transferring from.
  • The athletic department your athlete is leaving must not have an objection to the transfer.

A common question from many parents we have consulted with has been “How will my athlete know whether their school is filing an objection?”

And my answer has been that the school is required to provide an appeal opportunity. But until now, there has not been a clear answer as to how the student-athlete officially learns whether their previous school has approved or denied their request.

NCAA DI Schools Must Now Provide Written Notification to the Student-Athlete

At the recent NCAA Rules Seminar, it was explained that NCAA Division I athletic programs that have an objection to a student-athlete using the One-Time Transfer Exception are now required to provide written notification directly to the student-athlete and that they have the right to an appeal hearing when their original school objects to the transfer.

This is a very positive change because these transfer notification forms are entered into the Transfer Portal which is not accessible to student-athletes. Previously, student-athletes were sometimes blindsided by finding out late in the transfer process that their school was objecting to their transfer.

Do you Have Questions?

If you need personal assistance, schedule a confidential transfer consultation online or call us at 913-766-1235.