New College Swimming Transfer Rules in Plain English

by SwimSwam Partner Content 10

December 10th, 2018 College

Contributor Rick Paine is an expert on the college recruiting process. He is also the Director of Swimming at American College Connection (ACC).

ACC is a SwimSwam Partner. 

Our policy at American College Connection is it stay with the swimmers and their parents until they finish college so we are actively involved every year in helping swimmers transfer schools.

New NCAA rules went into effect in October that dramatically change the transfer process in college swimming.

Old rules:

A swimmer who wanted to transfer had to ask for a release to transfer or at least a permission to contact letter.

The coach could refuse to release the swimmer (they could not use their scholarship money for someone else unless the swimmer was released) to everyone or to specific schools.

A permission to contact was a letter issued by the school that allowed other coaches to contact the swimmer. The swimmer still needed a release to transfer.

New rules:

A swimmer who wants to transfer has to inform the coach their intentions to transfer and the athletic department has to post this info on the NCAA website portal within 48 hours of being notified by the swimmer.

Once this notification to transfer has been posted other coaches can contact the swimmer immediately. No release is required.

The only restrictions for transferring are individual conference rules that prohibit it. Usually these rules prohibit intra-conference transfers.

An old rule that is still in effect is the one-time transfer rule. The swimmer is only allowed to transfer to another D-I program once; upon the 2nd transfer (test: attending class or participating in practice), an athlete would have to sit out a year.

Our next article will offer advice on when to let the coach know you want to transfer and the new rules affecting scholarships.

ACC Recruiting is a SwimSwam ad partner  Go here and learn more about ACC and their team of college swimming experts. 

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Happy swimmer

So much better for the athletes, they can no longer be trapped by there coach


Thank you for the plain English translation! Great article.


Nice article Rick!

Rick Paine

Thanks MAC. I just hope college swimming doesn’t turn into club swimming where kids jump teams at the drop of a hat.


Highly doubt that will occur BUT it will allow for an easier jump to another school. There are many reasons, most merited for a student.athlete to transfer. Previously if the athlete’s parents had moola and savvy they could hire an attorney and force the transfer regardless of the transfer motive. This removes that need for conflict. So all in all a good rule change.

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