NCAA Division I Council tweaks transfer, redshirt rules

Published 1:48 pm Wednesday, June 13, 2018


The NCAA’s Division I Council on Wednesday adopted a pair of proposals, including one that will eliminate student-athletes having to seek permission from their current school to transfer and receive a scholarship.

A “notification-of-transfer” model will be implemented beginning Oct. 15 that will allow players to inform their school of their intent to transfer before the school is required to enter the player’s name into a national transfer database within two business days. Once that happens, coaches from other schools will be free to contact them.

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The council also tweaked the redshirt rule in football to where players can participate in up to four games starting next season and not lose a year of eligibility. The rule change allows players, who have five years to play up to four seasons, to use a redshirt if injuries or other factors force them to a small number of games.

“This change promotes not only fairness for college athletes, but also their health and well-being,” council chair Blake James said in a statement. “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. Coaches will appreciate the additional flexibility and ability to give younger players an opportunity to participate in limited competition.”

Under the previous transfer rule, players wishing to transfer had to get permission from their current school to contact another school in order to receive a scholarship after transferring. The rule change does away with any coach or administrator preventing players from talking to other schools and ultimately blocking a transfer.

The proposal also adds tampering with a current player at another school to the list of possible Level II infractions, which are considered a significant breach of conduct.

“This creates a safe place for student-athletes to have a conversation with their coaches and makes the whole process more transparent,” Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee representative Nicholas Clark said in a statement. “This will clean the process up and give more influence and flexibility to the student-athlete.”

Former Ole Miss quarterback Shea Patterson went through the process during his highly publicized transfer. Ole Miss granted Patterson permission to contact other schools before the former five-star signee landed at Michigan, where Patterson will be immediately eligible.

Patterson is one of seven players that transferred after final penalties were handed down in Ole Miss’ infractions case in December. So far, six of them have been granted immediate eligibility at their new school.