Rules eased on athlete transfers
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 student-athletes to have a conversation with their coaches and makes the whole process more transparent,” Clark said.
Standoffs between athletes and coaches over transfers have often led to embarrassing results for schools standing in the way of players who want to leave. Last spring at Kansas State, reserve receiver Corey Sutton said he was blocked him from transferring to 35 schools by coach Bill Snyder before the school finally relented amid public pressure.
Even with the new rule, conferences could still restrict athletes from transferring within the league.
The NCAA transfer working group, led by South Dakota State athletic director Justin Sell, has been working on reform since last year.
In this 2016 file photo, Kansas State wide receiver Corey Sutton is tackled by Missouri State cornerback Matt Rush. College athletes will no longer need permission from their coach or school to transfer and receive financial aid from another school.