NCAA to consider new 6-year policy on certain transfers in lieu of waiver system

Division I of the NCAA could see a policy change on student transfers and waivers approved this week, according to Michelle Brutlag Hosick of the NCAA, a change that would allow transferring students a 6-year window to complete their 4 seasons of eligibility if their transfer causes them to sit out a season.

The idea comes from a Division I Leadership Council subcommittee which has been studying the situation of transferring athletes and is expected to recommend the changes at the NCAA Convention this week.

The legislation applies to a specific group of student-athletes: some athletes who transfer are eligible to compete immediately the next season based on factors like releases, or where they transferred to or from. Those athletes would be unaffected by the new policy. But currently some athletes are required to either sit out a year of competition or apply for a waiver through the NCAA. These are the athletes that the new policy is intended to address.

If it’s implemented, this new procedure would do away with the waiver process for these athletes, forcing them to sit out a year, but in exchange would grant them an extra year to complete their eligibility. Current rules allow an athlete a 5-year window to fit all 4 years of eligibility into; the new policy would make that a 6-year window.

Those athletes would still have to provide some reasoning for the extension – the NCAA release (linked above) uses a serious family illness as an example.

The proposal is meant to counter abuse of the current waiver process as well as address claims that it’s inconsistent in its current form. If accepted, it would take effect next fall, meaning athletes transferring to a new school for the 2014-2015 season would be subject to the new rules.

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7 years ago

Seems like those that transfer would then have an age (maturity) advantage.

7 years ago

Let’s say someone has three years of eligibility left. The original rules made them sit out a year and lose a year of eligibility. The new rules would allow that person to essentially keep all of their eligibility and just have to wait a year to start?

6 years ago

Jared,did this new policy ever get implemented? If so, would my son be eligible for a 6th year?
He started college 2011 but took a Redshirt (surgery) his freshman year at a Div 1. (basketball)
Played 82 minutes his sophomore year (2012-2013).
Transferred to another Div.1 school his junior year (2013-2014). Sat Out entire year.
Transferred to another Div.1 school (financial reasons), has to repeat his junior year (Sitting Out)
Next year (2015-2016) will be his senior year (eligible to play). Will graduate as Undergrad.
Btw, he has kept a Dean’s list ‘A’ average his entire high school and college career.

Thanks so much for your help and your article.

Reply to  Jared Anderson
6 years ago

Thanks for your prompt reply. It would appear that the only satisfaction we may receive from this whole ordeal is a possible 6th year to gain some additional play. It’s funny how I was told that the sit out rule was originally designed to benefit the student by helping them acclimate to the new transfer school (both academically and socially). When you maintain a 3.8+GPA, have a great work ethic and high moral character, what’s the point in sitting out?? Thanks.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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