SEC Changes Rules to Allow Graduate Transfers to Play Without Sitting 1 Year

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJune 1, 2018

OXFORD, MS - SEPTEMBER 02:  The SEC logo is seen before a game between the Mississippi Rebels and the South Alabama Jaguars at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on September 2, 2017 in Oxford, Mississippi.  (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Southeastern Conference presidents and chancellors voted Friday to allow graduate transfers to change schools within the SEC without being forced to sit a full season.

Jake Rowe of 247Sports reported SEC players who have earned their undergraduate degree can now transfer to play immediately for a conference rival as long as the university offers a degree program in their field. The move also no longer requires approval from his current team's head coach.

It's a change that could make an immediate impact.

Last month, Matt Zenitz of AL.com reported Alabama blocked an attempt by offensive lineman Brandon Kennedy to join another SEC program as a graduate transfer. He's seeking to leave the Crimson Tide for either Auburn or Tennessee.

Tide head coach Nick Saban said Tuesday he no longer wanted control over whether or not to allow players to join conference foes, per Rowe.

"I don't think it should be on me," he told reporters. "I think we should change the rule, aight. If we agree in the SEC at these meetings that we're going to have free agency in our league and everyone can go wherever they want to go when they graduate, that's what's best for the game, then I think that's what we should do. Then Brandon Kennedy can go wherever he wants to go."

Rowe noted the SEC also added a rule that its member programs can't enroll a student-athlete who's been "convicted, pled guilty or pled no contest to sexual assault, domestic violence, or other forms of sexual violence."

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