The NCAA Division 1 Council has committed to adopt a uniform transfer rule by January 2021.
Under the current rules, student-athletes are allowed to begin playing immediately after transferring in all sports except baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, football and men’s ice hockey. However, most major conferences do not allow students from any sport transferring schools within the conference to begin competing immediately, generally requiring a year of residency at the new institution.
With the new uniform rule, the committee hopes to promote flexibility for student-athletes under all circumstances.
In order to promote the changes, the Division I Council Coordination Committee expanded the Transfer Waiver Working Group adding additional members from the Committee on Academics, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and Council standing committees.
The Transfer Waiver Working Group will be charged with studying the effects of transfers on student-athletes, and coming up with a viable solution to the issue that can be translated into the new legislation.
Mid-American Commissioner and chair of the Transfer Waiver Working Group Jon Steinbrecher commented on the group’s new responsibilities, stating,
“This is our last best chance for our membership to take care of our business in this area. It’s fascinating. We kind of have a confluence of things occurring right now. We have name, image and likeness coming to the forefront now; we have transfer issues coming to the forefront right now. We have an obligation here and an opportunity to recraft our rules in a way that they will be understandable, that they will be viewed as fair and predictable and that they will be seen as transparent.”
Once the group comes up with a proposal, the Division 1 Council will have until November 1 to implement it into the 2020-2021 legislation cycle.
Currently, about 7% of students competing in Division 1 athletics are transfer students. However, in recent years there has been an uptake of transfers in swimming, especially with program cuts. During the 2019 NCAA offseason, there were over 348 swimmers in the transfer portal including notable names like Maxime Rooney.