NCAA Passes Emergency Legislation for Graduate Transfers

The NCAA Division I Council adopted emergency legislation on Wednesday regarding the new transfer portal windows.

Specifically, they created an exception from the new 60-day transfer portal windows for student-athletes who are going to transfer to another institution as a graduate student. Those student-athletes are exempted from the new transfer windows. They will, however, still have to meet the old transfer deadlines: May 1 for fall and winter sports, and July 1 for spring sports.

While graduate transfers, which require student-athletes to complete their undergraduate degree with eligibility remaining, are normally rare, they have become more common since the COVID-19 pandemic. That is because the NCAA gave student-athletes who competed during the COVID-hit 2020-2021 season a 5th year of eligibility. With many student-athletes completing undergraduate degrees in four years, that gives them a more comfortable path to using a graduate transfer.

The NCAA earlier this summer instituted a number of reforms aimed at bringing some order to the transfer portal. For winter-season sports, like swimming & diving, that comes in the form of a 60-day window that begins the day after championship selections are made.

For fall sports and spring sports, like men’s and women’s water polo, respectively, that includes a 45-day window beginning the day after championship selections are made in their sport, or a separate 15-day window outside of the season. For fall sports, that separate window is May 1-15. For spring sports, that separate window is December 1-15.

Student-athletes must notify their institutions in writing of their intent to transfer within these windows to be eligible to compete the next season. There are some exceptions to these windows. Besides graduate transfers, among the stated exceptions are head coaching changes and a reduction in athletics aid.

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John Hueth
1 year ago

It was obvious that the NCAA did this because of the situation on the Cal women’s team. These ladies needed a way to get out and FAST. I’m glad the NCAA is finally doing something for our proud ladies of the sport!

Reply to  John Hueth
1 year ago

The entire Cal women’s team are Grad Transfers? Not sure how it’s obvious…

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Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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