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NCAA Announces It's Exploring Major Change To Transfer Rule

A detail of a Nike official NCAA size football as it sits in the end zone while the West Virginia Mountaineers stretchon the field prior to playing against the Clemson Tigers during the Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium.

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

The NCAA announced it is exploring a significant change to the transfer rule across all sports. According to a statement from the NCAA, athletes would be able to transfer and play immediately for their new program.

The change would come "if a concept under consideration by the Transfer Waiver Working Group is adopted by the Division I Council." Working group chair Jon Steinbrecher, commissioner of the Mid-American Conference, made it clear the current system is "unsustainable."

The NCAA's transfer rule has come under criticism in recent years. Coaches have free reign to leave their programs for greener pastures, while athletes are forced to sit out for a year if they transfer - unless they are a graduate transfer.

This new rule would allow first-time transfers to play immediately for their new program. Here is the criteria all athletes need to hit in order to play immediately elsewhere:

  • Receive a transfer release from their previous school.
  • Leave their previous school academically eligible.
  • Maintain their academic progress at the new school.
  • Leave under no disciplinary suspension.

The potential change has been in the works for years.

Before the 2019 season, star transfers Justin Fields and Tate Martell announced their transfers. The NCAA ruled both players immediately eligible, signaling a change in the transfer market.

Now the latest change could have an even larger impact on collegiate sports.