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Changes Proposed to College Football Calendar; NCAA Alters Two Rules

If approved, the college football season could start a week earlier, and coaches would be able to visit high school juniors off campus.

Sports Illustrated is reporting that a proposed new college football calendar would start the season earlier and change recruiting guidelines. 

Per Ross Dellenger, the potential changes include allowing coaches to visit with high school juniors off campus and shift back the early signing date a week. 

The changes are in response to two major shifts in the sport the expanding College Football Playoff, and the new transfer rules that designate two time periods for the transfer portal, the 45-day fall window starting Dec. 5, and the 15-day spring window beginning May 1. 

The draft by the 10 FBS conferences, is circulating around athletic departments and is not a formal proposal yet in the NCAA legislative approvals process.

It includes a provision that teams would no longer have to get permission to play in Week 0, moving up the start of the season and allowing for an extra bye week. On the other end, bowl games could start the second Saturday in December, proving an extra week to schedule both bowl and playoff games. 

The move to turn Week 0 into Week 1 is a key discussion point among conference commissioners who are attempting to solidify details on an expanded College Football Playoff, something SI reported in a story two weeks ago.

As for other recruiting changes being proposed: 

  • The addition of a 48-hour dead period preceding the fall transfer portal, scheduled this year for Nov. 27 and 28. The intent of the dead period is to allow coaching staffs to meet with their current players before the portal opens. 
  • Moving the start of the early-signing period back five days to the third Monday in December. The first day of the early-season is slated for Dec. 19 this year and Dec. 18 in 2023.
  • Prohibiting coaches visiting transfers on campus of the player’s current school or at a residence where other members of the transfer’s current team reside.
  • The addition of a recruiting dead period during the Memorial Day Weekend, May 27 to 31 of next year.

The approval process starts with a recommendation from the working group to the NCAA Football Oversight Committee. Oversight would then recommend the changes to the NCAA DI Council for adoption. 

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To see the full story: Proposed New CFB Calendar Calls to Move Season Earlier, Alter Recruiting Guidelines

DI Council modifies transfer rules for postgraduate students

Student-athletes who will enroll at another school after graduating are now allowed to enter the Transfer Portal at any time, the Division I Council decided during its virtual meeting Wednesday.

On Aug. 31, the Division I Board of Directors adopted new transfer rules — effective immediately — that required student-athletes to enter the Transfer Portal during sport-specific transfer windows.

Student-athletes who plan to compete the following year as postgraduate students are exempt from those windows. Today's action does not exempt the students from implications associated with the decision to enter the Transfer Portal, including the reduction or cancellation of athletics financial aid for their next academic term.

"The college application process occurs earlier in the year for graduate students, and today's vote provides immediate relief for college students who are interested in pursuing graduate programs at other schools next year while competing in their given sports," said Lynda Tealer, vice chair of the Division I Council and executive associate athletics director at Florida. "The Council will continue to evaluate this issue and consider more permanent modifications to rules related to postgraduate participation."

Postgraduate students will be subject to deadlines to enter the Transfer Portal:

  • Fall and winter sports: May 1.
  • Spring sports: July 1.

The postgraduate transfer rules approved today are effective immediately. The Council will continue to discuss the application of rules to postgraduate students.

FBS scheduling requirements — FCS opponents

The Council also adopted a proposal recommended by the Football Oversight Committee that requires Football Championship Subdivision programs facing Football Bowl Subdivision teams during the regular season to provide 90% of the maximum allowable scholarships in football (over a two-year rolling period) in order for the game to be counted by that FBS program toward requirements for bowl eligibility. To provide flexibility during the pandemic, the requirement for total scholarships provided by FCS programs had been reduced to 80 percent in order for the game to count toward an FBS opponent's bowl eligibility.

The proposal was submitted in August by the Football Oversight Committee after a request earlier this year from FBS conference commissioners to review bowl eligibility scheduling requirements. The return to the 90 percent threshold aligns NCAA scheduling requirements for bowl game eligibility with the minimum scholarship requirements FCS teams must meet to receive funds from College Football Playoff grants (administered through the CFP, not the NCAA national office).