NCAA passes significant transfer reforms, redshirt rule

Penn State head coach James Franklin addresses the team during practice in Holuba

NCAA announces transfer, redshirt rule changes

Also big? A so-called "redshirt rule" that would allow players to play in any four games during a season and still maintain a full season eligibility (they would still have five years to play four seasons).

A new transfer rule, which goes into effect October 15, removes the previous requirement that athletes must seek permission from their current schools before letting other schools know they'd like to transfer.

Schools will no longer be able to block players who want to transfer, and redshirt players can now appear in up to four games in a season without losing a year of eligibility. The NCAA's Transfer Working Group first proposed this rule change past year.

"This creates a safe place for student-athletes to have a conversation with their coaches and makes the whole process more transparent", Nicholas Clark said. "Coaches will appreciate the additional flexibility and ability to give younger players an opportunity to participate in limited competition". Because of the new rule, a player will be allowed to potentially play in four games in his redshirt season and complete seasons in four other seasons. The rule will put an end to a debatable practice wherein a DI coach would prevent an athlete wishing to transfer from contacting specific schools (usually rival schools).

The NCAA's Division I Council approved the new rule this week.

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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.

But a change to that rule will now allow for some breathing room.

Former Coastal Carolina football player Nick Clark, who represents the Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee on the Division I Council, likes the transparency of the new rule.

"The change promotes not only fairness for college athletes, but also their health and well-being", said Miami (Florida) athletic director Blake James, who doubles as the chair of the Division I council. The NCAA notes, however, that conferences can enact rules that are more restrictive than the national rule. 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. "This will clean the process up and give more influence and flexibility to the student-athlete".

"Even if some senior players decide it's not in their best interest to play in a bowl game, what a wonderful thing it would be to play some of the freshman in that bowl game and not lose their redshirt year". "The new exception allows football players to preserve a season of competition if, for example, injuries or other factors result in them competing in a small number of games".

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