NCAA announces transfer, redshirt rule changes
The NCAA announced two major rules changes to the college athletics landscape Wednesday.
The first, beginning Oct. 15 student-athletes will be able to transfer and receive a scholarship without asking their current school for permission across all sports.
The second, football players can participate in as many as four games without it counting toward the four seasons allowed in five years, effective immediately for the 2018-19 season.
“This change promotes not only fairness for college athletes, but also their health and well-being," Miami AD Blake James said in a statement to the NCAA on the redshirt rule change. "Redshirt football student-athletes are more likely to remain engaged with the team, and starters will be less likely to feel pressure to play through injuries. Coaches will appreciate the additional flexibility and ability to give younger players an opportunity to participate in limited competition.”
The NCAA Division I Council says there will be a new "notification of transfer" model, which creates a system where a student informs his or her school of the desire to transfer, then the school is required to register the student in a national transfer database within two business days and then other coaches are free to contact that athlete.
“The membership showed today that it supports this significant change in transfer rules,” said Justin Sell, chair of the Division I Transfer Working Group and athletics director at South Dakota State, per the NCAA. “I’m proud of the effort the Transfer Working Group put forth to make this happen for student-athletes, coaches and schools.”
“This creates a safe place for student-athletes to have a conversation with their coaches and makes the whole process more transparent,” former Coastal Carolina football player Nicholas Clark said in the NCAA statement. “This will clean the process up and give more influence and flexibility to the student-athlete.”
The previous rule required permission for the athletes to be able to contact another school to receive a scholarship after transferring. The NCAA notes, however, that conferences can enact rules that are more restrictive than the national rule.
Tampering by schools in transfer situations has been upgraded to a potential Level 2 violations, per the NCAA.
Other elements of the new rule per the NCAA:
"Another financial aid element, autonomy legislation that governs when a school can reduce or cancel aid, may be adjusted next week by the autonomy conferences. Currently, a student’s notification of intent to transfer at the end of a term is not one of the listed reasons a school can use to cancel aid. The autonomy conferences will consider, by an electronic vote, two different proposals to allow schools to cancel the aid."
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney addressed the rule changes shortly after the announcements in a scheduled press conference Wednesday.
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