The NCAA Transfer Portal Deadline & What It Means For Student-Athletes

May 1 has come and gone, meaning any student-athletes who opt to enter the NCAA transfer portal will be ineligible to compete next season, barring a waiver being granted.

Here’s a brief rundown of the transfer portal, its deadlines, and how they impact student-athlete eligibility:


The NCAA transfer portal came into existence in October 2018, allowing student-athletes with the intention of transferring to enter an online database that allows other schools to contact them about possibly joining their institution.

Prior to the portal, athletes would need to request permission from their coach to transfer, and their school could deny their transfer request.

All sports now have a one-time transfer exception (baseball, football, men’s and women’s basketball and men’s ice hockey only got this right last April), meaning student-athletes can transfer to another school once without sitting out for a season (barring any individual conferences rules).

If a student-athlete has already transferred from one D1 school to another, they cannot transfer to a third without sitting out for a season.


However, the one-time transfer exception hinges on the deadlines.

Student-athletes must enter the portal (or at least notify their school’s administration of their intention) by May 1 for all fall and winter sports, and July 1 for all spring sports, in order to be eligible to use the one-time transfer exception.

Student-athletes who miss this deadline will be ineligible to compete at their new school for one season, unless the new school submits a waiver that’s granted by the NCAA.

When announcing that the one-time transfer exception would be expanded to all sports last year, the NCAA noted that certain exceptions to the deadline (AKA a waiver being granted) would apply in the case of a head coaching change or canceled athletic scholarships after May 1 but before July 1.

As is the case in every college swimming off-season, we’ve seen numerous athletes enter the transfer portal in the weeks following the conclusion of the NCAA Championships. And while it’s not necessary for a student-athlete to have decided on where they’re heading next season by the beginning of May, they must at least have entered the portal as of Sunday to ensure that they’re able to compete in 2022-23.

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7 months ago

In caption it states athletes won’t be eligible, then in first paragraph of article says will be eligible.

Reply to  BlueSky75
7 months ago

Appreciate the correction & clarifying

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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