September 6, 2017
The process of NCAA transfers could soon be turned on its head.
The NCAA announced this week that it is looking into a variety of changes to its student-athlete transfer process, including changing how athletes receive permission to contact other schools and potentially even eliminating the mandatory one year ineligibility period that immediately follows most transfers.
The proposals are still in a preliminary phase, as a working group is currently seeking input from its member schools on a series of potential reforms.
The most radical change being studied is changing the rule that forces all undergraduates who transfer to sit out one year before being eligible at their new school.
A new proposal would allow transfers to become immediately eligible if they meet certain academic benchmarks.
247sports reported this week that transfers would have to meet a minimum GPA to be immediately eligible, and that the any subsequent transfers by the athlete would be subject to one year of ineligibility.
Currently, transfer students are immediately eligible only if they have graduated from one institution and are enrolling in a graduate program at another, or if they receive a waiver.
The NCAA is also considering a change to the organization’s current “permission to contact” rules. Currently, athletes must receive permission from their current schools before contacting other schools about potentially transferring. If they don’t receive that permission, the athlete can’t be on scholarship for their first year at their new school.
The new proposal would allow athletes to talk to other schools without obtaining permission, and financial aid would not be tied in with permission to contact.
The NCAA working group is also considering raising the level of violations for schools that are found guilty of tampering, or recruiting students from other schools.
After the NCAA receives feedback on these proposals this month, the working group will then discuss them at its next meeting in October.
To be adopted, the proposals would need to be approved by the NCAA Division 1 Council. The earliest that would happen is April, 2018.