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As of August 1, 2019, these NCAA DI Transfer Rules will go into effect:

Walk-on/Non-Recruited Transfer Exceptions

A student-athlete transferring to a Division I university next Fall as an undergraduate can possibly be immediately eligible if:

  • Their previous four-year college provided athletic scholarships in their sport, but the athlete has not received an athletic scholarship, OR
  • Their previous four-year college did not provide athletic scholarships, and the athlete was not “recruited” by that college.

Student-Athletes in position to benefit from this change will still need to be academically eligible at their new university.

Also, while these changes have received lots of publicity in social media, there is one aspect of this change that has NOT received much publicity at all.

The university that these athletes are transferring from WILL NOT be allowed to object to the athlete being immediately eligible next year at their new university (a condition of the One-Time Transfer Exception which I have shared with many of our clients)!

Graduate Transfer Exception

An athlete transferring as a graduate student to an NCAA Division I university in the sports of baseball, basketball, football, and men’s ice hockey next Fall will have the chance to be immediately eligible (without need for a waiver from the NCAA) as long as:

  • The athlete’s previous four-year college did not provide athletic scholarships, OR
  • The athlete never received athletic scholarships while enrolled at a four-year college.

Do you need assistance?

If you have questions about the NCAA transfer rules and how these changes might possibly affect your student-athlete, schedule a confidential consultation online or call us at 913-766-1235.

Last week, an NCAA Division I football athlete called our office and wanted to confirm what “somebody” had told that if his coach was fired at the end of the season, then he could transfer and be immediately eligible at another Division I program next year.

I’m glad he called as this athlete was given bad information.

A coaching change (whether the coach is fired, or leaves of their own choosing to retire or take a new job) doesn’t change anything about the steps to follow in a transfer or about whether an athlete can be immediately eligible at their next college upon transfer.

A coaching change at an NCAA Division I school CAN possibly change some things about an athlete’s scholarship, but nothing about the transfer rules.

If you’d like to have a detailed discussion about your personal situation and the steps involved in transferring to another college including whether you can be immediately eligible, schedule a confidential phone consult online, or by calling 913-766-1235 or sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com

More changes to the NCAA Division I transfer rules were proposed just last week by the NCAA Division I Council at their meeting in Indianapolis. These additional changes are not scheduled for a vote until April so likely won’t take effect until Fall 2019.

I will outline these key changes below, but for NCAA Division I athletes who are on an athletic scholarship, nothing will be changing about the rules that determine whether a student-athlete can be immediately eligible if they transfer to another Division I program.

The first proposed rule change will impact new incoming student-athletes to a Division I program (freshmen or transfers) who are attending summer school classes on an athletic scholarship (thereby triggering their status as a “student-athlete” at that university). Those athletes will be allowed to transfer and be immediately eligible IF their team has a head coaching change before Fall classes begin.

The second proposed rule change will allow more opportunities for walk-on athletes who have not received an athletic scholarship to transfer and be immediately eligible at another Division I university. There are current transfer exceptions that already allow that to happen, but those exceptions have conditions that restrict the number of athletes who can benefit from the exception. This proposed change will remove some of those restricting conditions.

The third proposed change should slow down the number of athletes in football and in men’s and women’s basketball who are transferring to Division I programs as graduate students. There has been a sense among many in NCAA leadership positions that some of these athletes (and the universities that bring them in) aren’t focused on the completion of their graduate degree, but are simply transferring to play for a different coach in their final year of eligibility.

As a potential consequence, football and basketball graduate transfers with just one season of eligibility remaining will be counted against their team’s scholarship limits for TWO years, unless the transferring athlete completes their graduate degree before the next academic year begins.

Here are a couple of points to keep in mind regarding these proposed rule changes:

First, these proposed changes will be reviewed by Division I universities and conferences which may result in amendments being proposed for these proposals. The impact of these changes on Division I athletes could be revised by the time the proposals are brought up for a vote in April.

Second, these proposed changes don’t address whether scholarship athletes who are transferring as undergraduates will still need the permission or agreement of the program they are leaving in order to be immediately eligible at their new university. Therefore, scholarship athletes should remember that their current coach and athletic department will probably still have the option to object to their immediate eligibility at a new university and might need to seek an appeal of such an objection.

To discuss these new, proposed NCAA transfer rules and how they could impact you or your student-athlete, schedule a confidential phone consult or email consult online, send an e-mail directly to rick@informedathlete.com or call us at 913-766-1235.

From the emails and the phone calls we receive, there is a lot of interest in the possibility of NCAA Division I transfer rule changes– especially in the sports of baseball, basketball, football and men’s ice hockey where athletes are often required to serve a “year in residence” at their new university before they can represent their new school in competition.

At the current time, the only proposed change in the NCAA Division I transfer rules is one that would eliminate the requirement that an athlete must receive “permission to contact” from their current university before coaches at other universities could speak with the athlete or his/her family or representative regarding a possible transfer.

The change – if approved – would result in the athlete only being required to provide written “notification of transfer” to their university that they are planning to transfer and then their name would be added to a database of transferring athletes.  Once an athlete’s name is added to the database (to be managed by the NCAA) coaches at other universities could contact them regarding a transfer.

The earliest date for this proposed change to be voted on is in April but could be delayed until June so that other transfer rule changes can be voted on as a “package.”

There is no proposed change “in the mix” at this time regarding immediate eligibility for a transferring athlete in the specific sports named above.  We’ll have updates in future newsletters when there are new developments regarding transfers.

In the meantime, if you want to be proactive and prepared for a possible transfer, contact us for a consultation at rick@informedathlete.com or 913-766-1235.