NCAA Advances New Rules on Transfers, Athlete Benefits

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The Division I Board of Directors this week endorsed in concept a set of recommendations forwarded from the Division I Transformation Committee, and it established the process by which recommendations would be voted on for adoption.

The recommendations include adjustments to transfer rules, updates to the Division I infractions process and decentralization of rules relating to student-athlete benefits.

Proposed changes to the infractions process are intended to promote time-efficient outcomes, focus the time and resources of all involved on a modernized set of shared principles and rules, and hold accountable those who are directly involved in the rule-breaking while minimizing impact on student-athletes who were not involved.

Transfer recommendations, intended to stabilize the transfer environment, would require additional accountability for schools that receive transfer student-athletes and provide student-athletes with a window of time to enter the Transfer Portal each year to be eligible to compete the following year. 

Recommendations relating to student-athlete benefits would prioritize academics while meeting the needs of current and future college athletes, including providing schools broader discretion for how they fund and support college athletes in academics, housing, meals and entertainment.

The Board of Directors has asked the Division I Council to provide feedback on these recommendations at its meeting this month in anticipation of action by the board in August.

"The board looks forward to hearing the Council's position on the concepts," said board chair Jere Morehead, president at the University of Georgia. "The board is committed to acting quickly to address the challenges in college sports, and we look forward to receiving additional Transformation Committee recommendations this fall."

The board is expected to cast final votes on the recommendations in August and will determine timing for any rules changes to take effect at that time.

Membership reclassification waivers

The board also reviewed and denied waiver requests that would have allowed schools in the process of transitioning into Division I to participate in NCAA championship events before the reclassification process is complete. Current rules prohibit transitioning schools from competing in championships during the four-year transition period. The board agreed with the Council that the timing of these requests is not appropriate given the ongoing review of membership requirements by the Transformation Committee. In addition, the board shared the Council's concerns about permitting access to championships before schools are full members of Division I.

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