NCAA eases rules on athlete transfers, redshirts for college football

NCAA eases rules on athlete transfers, redshirts for college football

The NCAA announced a significant change to its redshirt and transfer policies for football players on Wednesday.

Under the new system, a student can inform his or her current school of a desire to transfer, and then the school must enter that student's name into a national transfer database within two business days.

It removes the upper hand that schools have long held over student-athletes looking to transfer.

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According to the ACC's proposal: "The current rule often places coaches in a hard position to decide whether to play a student-athlete in a limited amount of competition or to preserve the student-athlete's season of eligibility". The NCAA's Transfer Working Group first proposed this rule change previous year. "It's a win for the student-athlete, and our coaches are tremendously excited about this opportunity".

Virginia football coach Bronco Mendenhall has been an outspoken proponent of the NCAA changing its redshirt rules to allow younger players the chance to get some limited game experience without losing a full year of eligibility.

Update: Also of note, the rule change will be in effect for the 2018-2019 season.

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Transfer candidates previously needed permission to contact other programs. The new NCAA rule does not change the injury redshirt process.

The previous transfer rule, which required student-athletes to get permission from their current school to contact another school before they can receive a scholarship after transfer, was meant to discourage coaches from recruiting student-athletes from other Division I schools.

It will be interesting to see how all these changes play out down the road but the bottom line is it was a big, big day for players across the country with these rules proposals getting passed.

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Nicholas Clark, a former Coastal Carolina football player and member of the Division I transfer group, offered up these comments on the new rule. The NCAA notes, however, that conferences can enact rules that are more restrictive than the national rule. The proposal was initially tabled in April over concerns about timing, the number of games and potential application to other sports, according to a release by the NCAA. "This will clean the process up and give more influence and flexibility to the student-athlete". Currently, a student's notification of intent to transfer at the end of a term is not one of the listed reasons a school can use to cancel aid. "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", said council chair Blake James, athletic director at the Miami (Fla.). The significance of the rule is a player can appear in those limited number of games at any point in the season.