NCAA eases rules on ath­lete transfers, foot­ball el­i­gi­bil­ity

Baltimore Sun - - SPORTS - By Ralph D. Russo

Col­lege ath­letes will no longer need per­mis­sion from their coach or school to trans­fer and re­ceive fi­nan­cial aid from an­other school.

The NCAA Division I Coun­cil ap­proved the change ef­fec­tive Oct. 15 on Wed­nes­day. The coun­cil also de­cided that D-I foot­ball play­ers will be al­lowed to play in up to four games in a sea­son with­out los­ing a year of el­i­gi­bil­ity if they can no longer play be­cause of in­juries “or other fac­tors.”

The long-awaited trans­fer re­form ended up be­ing a nar­row change, but should pro­vide more free­dom for ath­letes to trans­fer when and where they want.

Un­der the new rule, ath­letes would be per­mit­ted to be con­tacted when they no­tify their cur­rent coaches, who have two days to en­ter the names into a data­base cre­ated and man­aged by the NCAA that will alert schools who can be re­cruited. The change will come with stricter tam­per­ing rules to help ap­pease coaches who worry il­le­gal re­cruit­ing could rise.

Cur­rently, an ath­lete must ask a coach for per­mis­sion to con­tact other schools when choos­ing to trans­fer. A school in­ter­ested in re­cruit­ing a trans­fer­ring player also must ask the cur­rent school for per­mis­sion to re­cruit. With­out per­mis­sion from the orig­i­nal school, the ath­lete can­not get fi­nan­cial aid from an­other school, es­sen­tially block­ing a trans­fer.

Ni­cholas Clark, a for­mer foot­ball player at Coastal Carolina and a mem­ber of a stu­dent rep­re­sen­ta­tive on the coun­cil, said the change pro­motes fair­ness and the well-be­ing of col­lege ath­letes.

“This cre­ates a safe place for stu­den­tath­letes to have a con­ver­sa­tion with their coaches and makes the whole process more trans­par­ent,” Clark said.

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