The NCAA has approved a massive change to transfer rules as student-athletes will no longer be required to gain permission to contact schools once they decide to leave their current institution, essentially ending the practice of blocking transfers by schools. The policy will not go into effect until Oct. 15.
The NCAA announced the news on Wednesday. This new rule comes following a recommendation from the NCAA’s 19-member Division I Transfer Working Group, who studied, researched and debated the issue for six months.
Under previous NCAA rules, programs could deny student-athletes permission to seek transfers to schools for any reason, no matter how inconsequential. Examples of this include Alabama denying graduate transfer Brandon Kennedy from seeking a potential transfer to Citadel due to the fact that program is on the Crimson Tide’s schedule in 2018. Schools would often block permission to conference opponents, rivals or programs that recruited prospects out of high school, which would often force student-athletes to transfer down to junior college before landing at their school of choice.
To be clear, undergraduates still have to sit out a year when transferring. This new rule does not grant immediate eligibility, it simply removes the requirement of approval from a student-athletes current institution.
In an attempt to prevent schools from tampering with student-athletes already enrolled at another institution, the NCAA has made tampering a Level 2 violation. This is only one step removed from the most serious infraction, a Level 1 violation.
Nicholas Clark, a former Coastal Carolina football player and member of the Division I transfer group, offered up these comments on the new rule.
“This creates a safe place for student-athletes to have a conversation with their coaches and makes the whole process more transparent,” Nicholas Clark said. “This will clean the process up and give more influence and flexibility to the student-athlete.”