NCAA Reportedly Expected to Approve 1-Time Transfer Rule for Undergraduate Athletes

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVApril 14, 2021

Brett Wilhelm/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

The NCAA Division I Council is reportedly expected to approve a one-time transfer rule that will allow all student-athletes to change schools once without needing to sit out for a year.

Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic reported Wednesday a second vote will determine whether the players will have a notification deadline to inform their current program of the move, with a proposed May 1 date for fall or winter athletes and a July 1 deadline for spring athletes.

It was an expected change as the NCAA faced increasing public backlash as high-paid head coaches were free to change jobs at a moment's notice, while unpaid student-athletes were required to sit out for an entire season while waiting for the chance to play at their new school.

"The genie's been out of the bottle on this for a while now," a source told Auerbach, adding the one-time transfer rule would likely go into effect immediately.

It's a much-needed change, and when paired with the transfer portal, it should allow players to find a new program quickly with an opportunity to pick a place they'll have a chance to play.

If there's one downside, it could be less opportunity for freshmen to make an immediate impact at Power Five programs since coaching staffs will be able to plug holes on their rosters with immediate upperclassman transfers, but first-year players who prove themselves in practice will still get their chance.

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Meanwhile, the Division I Council will also decide how to move forward with recruiting with the COVID-19 dead period set to expire May 31.

The council is expected to decide between a "quiet period" with a partial return to in-person visits and camps or a return to full normalcy on the recruiting trail beginning June 1, per Auerbach.

"We want the council to make that decision sooner rather than later so institutions will know what to plan for," Buffalo athletic director Mark Alnutt, a member of the college football Oversight Committee, told CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd in March.

Other football-specific items on the docket include a potential increase in on-campus evaluation days during the fall from 42 to 56 and a potential waiver on rules related to phone calls with recruits, according to Auerbach.

The Division I Council is expected to vote on all measures by the end of Thursday.