NCAA to Consider Letting All Athletes Transfer One Time Without Sitting Out

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Division I student athletes in all sports could transfer and compete immediately if the Division I council adopts the idea being considered by the Transfer Waiver Working Group, the NCAA announced Tuesday.

"The current system is unsustainable. Working group members believe it's time to bring our transfer rules more in line with today's college landscape," said working group chair Jon Steinbrecher, commissioner of the Mid-American Conference. "This concept provides a uniform approach that is understandable, predictable and objective. Most importantly, it benefits students."

The working group concept would change the waiver criteria to allow student athletes for first-time four-year transfers in all sports to compete immediately if they meet the following:

  • Receive a transfer release from their previous school.
  • Leave their previous school academically eligible.
  • Maintain their academic progress at the new school.
  • Leave under no disciplinary suspension.

These waiver criteria are already in place for student athletes in all sports except football, baseball, men's and women's basketball, and men’s ice hockey.

The Big Ten and ACC have already shown support for a one-time transfer rule for all student athletes. Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh previously voiced his approval of a potential transfer rule change.

Waiver criteria changes do not follow the regular legislative cycle but still must be approved by the full Division I Council.

The group agreed that a waiver process will remain in place for student athletes who have previously transferred or do not meet the one-time waiver guidelines. Their goal is approve the new criteria for transfers in the 2020-21 academic year.