NCAA transfer rule set to change for basketball, football players

The NCAA Division I Council voted Wednesday to allow athletes in the association’s most popular sports to change schools once during their bachelor’s careers without having to miss a season, a person familiar with the result told USA TODAY Sports.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity, as the vote will not be completed until the Council adjourned two days of meetings on Thursday.

The long-awaited move would harmonize the transfer rules for bowl subdivision football, men’s basketball, and women’s basketball, as well as baseball and men’s hockey, with those for the other Division I sports.

The result of Wednesday’s vote was first reported by The Athletic.

The council is a political decision-making group composed mainly of school and conference athletics administrators. Their actions are subject to review by the Board of Directors of Department I, which is mainly composed of school presidents and chancellors. The next Board meeting is scheduled for April 28th, but intervention on this issue is unlikely.

Then clouds:The NCAA’s new transfer policy is messy and the coaches won’t like it, but it’s fair

NCAA President Mark Emmert endorsed the change, saying during a virtual press conference ahead of the final men’s basketball final, “Students should have this ability to switch at least once during their careers. I understand the complexity this creates for coaches and I understand that this creates uncertainties in roster management and all that. But I think it’s long overdue for us to offer students this flexibility. “

In anticipation of the rules change, hundreds of basketball players recently indicated their interest in or intention to change schools by entering their names on the NCAA transfer portal.

The creation of a uniform transfer guideline for all athletes in Division I has been the subject of discussions and studies by various NCAA committees for years. And the association’s member schools have taken a number of smaller steps in this area. For example, students in any sport who completed their undergraduate degree before using their four seasons of athletic aptitude were allowed to switch and play immediately. Membership also instituted a waiver process that allowed transfers in any sport under certain circumstances and had to be approved by NCAA headquarters staff or an appeal committee.

In addition, as of October 2018, Membership has set up the Transfer Portal, which will make it easier for athletes to get permission from their current school to contact other schools and resolve other bureaucratic matters if they wish to make changes.

With the ground rules for suspending athletes in football and basketball – the top-selling sports – continuing to apply, the rules had become a target for athletes’ rights advocates, some federal lawmakers, and the Justice Department.

Jon Steinbrecher is the longtime commissioner of the Mid-American Conference, a current member of the council, and has led the latest iteration of a Division I working group on transfers. Before the meeting on Wednesday, he recalled: “In 2015 I raised this topic on my football media day in my booth of the conference address.

“I said it is time for us to modernize our transfer rules. We have come to a point where we must either justify why we are segmenting (soccer, basketball, baseball, and men’s hockey) or we need to move on to a single rule. Others said the same thing. And so here we are and we had starts and stops along the way. “

Most recently, the changes approved on Wednesday were scheduled for approval in January, but shortly before the scheduled date of this vote, the then head of the Justice Department’s antitrust division, Makan Delrahim, sent a letter to Emmert expressing strong concern about the direction of the club about broadcast rules and athletes’ ability to make money using their names, images and likeness.

In his comments ahead of the men’s Final Four, Emmert said NCAA officials would be holding talks with the Justice Department.


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