NCAA eases rules on athlete transfers

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The NCAA announced on rule change on Wednesday that allows for redshirted college football players to play in as many as four games during the course of a season without having to burn their redshirt year.

The NCAA's Transfer Working Group proposed the change in fall 2017 in an attempt to separate a student-athlete's interest in transferring to a new school from the process of receiving a scholarship at the new school.

The new rule was passed with players that are struck down by early-season injuries in mind, but will also allow players that are used sparingly to prolong their college careers, creating more opportunity for athletes to contribute on the field of competition. The NCAA's Transfer Working Group first proposed this rule change past year.

"Once the student-athlete's name is in the database, other coaches are free to contact that individual". "Coaches will appreciate the additional flexibility and ability to give younger players an opportunity to participate in limited competition".

The new "notification-of-transfer" model will take effect on October 15, 2018.

The previous rule required permission for the athletes to be able to contact another school to receive a scholarship after transferring.

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

"The membership showed today that it supports this significant change in transfer rules", said Justin Sell, chair of the Division I Transfer Working Group and athletics director at South Dakota State.

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

To address one specific concern, the Council specified that midyear enrollees can not use the exception to play a bowl game before their first academic term.

"Conferences, however, still can make rules that are more restrictive than the national rule".

Berry was extremely optimistic about the proposal's chances following the AFCA Convention in January, was less positive in March and cautious in April, when the proposal was tabled over questions about timing, the number of games and potential application to other sports. "This will clean the process up and give more influence and flexibility to the student-athlete".

Previously, players that competed in any games lost a full year of eligibility unless they suffered an injury. As of now, schools can not cut off an athlete's financial aid based on intent to transfer at the end of a term - but the NCAA will vote on two different proposals that would allow institutions to end aid after an athlete's intent to transfer has been made clear. Under the new rule, that could continue but coaches will have the opportunity to play freshmen in up to four games during their first year on campus.

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