NCAA D-I Council Advances New Transfer, Infractions Rules

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The Division I Council on Wednesday endorsed several recommendations intended to better support student-athletes, improve efficiency and timeliness in the infractions process, and improve clarity in the transfer environment.

Developed through the work of the Transformation Committee, the recommendations will go to the Division I Board of Directors next month for adoption.

If the recommendations are approved by the board, schools would be empowered to support student-athletes in a variety of ways without asking for waivers, including providing any support needed for a student-athlete's personal health, safety and well-being; paying for items to support a student's academic pursuits; purchasing insurance of various types; and funding participation in elite-level training, tryouts and competition.

The Council also endorsed several concepts intended to address challenges in the infractions process, including:

  • Incentivizing parties to secure cooperation from representatives, family members and others with relevant information.
  • Expanding the use of a public dashboard for all infractions.
  • Reserving hearings before the Committee on Infractions for only the most significant behaviors.

Additional enhancements to fair and timely processing of infractions cases will be considered by the Council next month.

Finally, the Council endorsed a concept that would eliminate the blanket rule prohibiting transferring more than once. The concept would also implement transfer portal "entry windows," or periods of time in which student-athletes must provide their school with written notification of transfer to be eligible to compete immediately the following academic year.

For winter and spring sports, students could provide written notification of transfer the day after NCAA championship selections in that sport for 60 calendar days. In fall sports, two separate windows would provide a total of 60 calendar days. The first window would be 45 days beginning the day following championship selection and the second would be from May 1 to May 15. Reasonable accommodations will be made for participants in the Football Bowl Subdivision and Football Championship Subdivision championship games.

Additionally, schools that accept four-year transfer students receiving financial aid will be required to provide financial aid to the student-athlete through the completion of the student's five-year period of eligibility or undergraduate graduation, whichever comes first, unless the student transfers again or enters a professional draft. The student would continue to count against roster and financial aid limits unless the student is medically disqualified, exhausts eligibility, transfers or enters a professional draft.

Members expressed some concern about some details related to implementation of the transfer changes; although, most of the Council agreed the concepts will improve the transfer environment.

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