Division I Council introduces transfer exception proposal

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If adopted, athletes would be immediately eligible after one-time transfer

AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

Student-athletes in all Division I sports could be granted immediate eligibility after transferring if a new proposal is adopted. 

The NCAA Division I Council’s measure on transfer eligibility was introduced Wednesday into the 2020-21 legislative cycle. Currently, athletes in several sports, including football, baseball and men’s and women’s basketball, are not eligible to transfer and compete immediately without a waiver. 

“This proposal creates a uniform, equitable approach for all student-athletes, no matter the sport they play,” said Jon Steinbrecher, commissioner of the Mid-American Conference and vice chair of the DI Council, in a statement. “We believe the proposal fulfills the promise of the transfer resolution adopted by the Council in the spring, and trust the membership will strongly consider bringing consistency and predictability to Division I transfer regulations while treating student-athletes across all sports alike and in a sensible fashion.”

WVU football coach Neal Brown said this proposal on immediate eligibility for transfers was expected.

“I just wanna know what the rules are, and we’ll just try to play by them,” Brown said Tuesday during his weekly media session. 

The head coach noted that the transfer deadlines outlined in the council’s proposal — May 1 for fall and winter sport athletes and July 1 for spring sport athletes — are critical for planning purposes.

“I was hoping that they’d kind of do a couple windows — maybe a window in December and then a window in the early part of May where student-athletes had to declare, because that would allow for better planning with the early signing date and things like that,” Brown said. “I think it’s a sign of the times. We’re more player friendly than we’ve ever been, and hey, it is what it is. It’s the world we live in.” 

According to a statement, the council will vote on this proposal during the 2021 NCAA Convention. If approved, athletes who transfer would be immediately eligible for competition during the 2021-22 academic year. 

Also expected in January is a vote on new NCAA name, image and likeness rules. New measures proposed by the DI Council include allowing student-athletes to use their image to promote camps and clinics and be paid for autographs and personal appearances, among other things. 

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