NCAA announces transfer, redshirt rule changes

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"This change promotes not only fairness for college athletes, but also their health and well-being. Redshirt football student-athletes are more likely to remain engaged with the team, and starters will be less likely to feel pressure to play through injuries", Miami AD Blake James said. "Coaches will appreciate the additional flexibility and ability to give younger players an opportunity to participate in limited competition".

"The membership showed today that it supports this significant change in transfer rules", said Justin Sell, chair of the Division I Transfer Working Group and athletics director at South Dakota State, per the NCAA.

It will begin this fall, with the 2018 season, wiping away the need for schools to petition the NCAA for a medical redshirt if a player had already played in a game.

The NCAA Division I Council announced Wednesday that it will adopt a new proposal that allows student-athletes to transfer without getting the permission of their current institution.


To address one specific concern, the Council specified that midyear enrollees can not use the exception to play a bowl game before their first academic term.

Previously, a football player who played in a game or fewer lost a year of eligibility but could appeal to get the year back because of injury or other reasons. Under previous rules, any participation in a game meant that a player's redshirt year, which offers them an extra year of competition at some point down the road, was used up. "I'm proud of the effort the Transfer Working Group put forth to make this happen for student-athletes, coaches and schools".

The new rule could change how college coaches handle playing time for certain players, especially younger ones.

Transfer candidates previously needed permission to contact other programs.


The NCAA is changing a rule that allows schools to block student-athletes from transferring to different programs.

That's one way the model could work, but there is no limitation, meaning that a player could be used in game one, then game eight, and then the Big Ten title game, and then the College Football Playoff and still count the year as a redshirt. The new process allows the athlete to notify his current school of his desire to transfer and will then require the school to enter the student's name into a database within two business days of the request.

Tampering by schools in transfer situations has been upgraded to a potential Level 2 violations, per the NCAA.


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