NCAA Moving Forward With Unlimited Transfers for Athletes

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The NCAA is moving forward with plans to do away with limits on the number of times student-athletes can transfer. 

"Surprised at that? Absolutely surprised at that," Tennessee coach Josh Heupel told CBS Sports after first hearing Thursday the NCAA had essentially just allowed athletes to transfer an unlimited number of times. "I think it only heightens the craziness to the transfer portal."

The NCAA Board of Directors is expected to make the new rule official August 3. 

CBS Sports suggested that while unlimited transfers may sound like chaos, academic requirements will make it difficult for a player to transfer more than once as an undergrad. 

"For one transfer, maybe two, is probably pretty manageable," said a source involved with the council's process. "Get into multiple transfers it gets tougher and tougher."

Nevertheless, coaches are still trying to wrap their heads around the idea that it would theoretically be possible for an athlete to play at four different schools in four separate years. 

"A kid can go as many times as he wants and doesn't have to graduate? Wow," Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher told CBS Sports. "It's just open recruitment of your own players [by other schools]. Everybody can recruit [them]. That's what they're doing with third parties anyway, with agents. Agents are coming in saying, 'I can get you a better deal here.' "

Players have previously been allowed to transfer once as an undergrad and once as a graduate student. 

"To say now you can transfer without penalty is going to be a disaster … ," said attorney Tom Mars, who has worked on several high-profile waiver request cases. "Having been a strident leader for the rights of college athletes, I never anticipated they would go this far."

While athletes have in the past been able to transfer multiple times, they've done so by citing extenuating circumstances and requesting a waiver from the NCAA. In most cases the NCAA granted those requests out of fear of facing a lawsuit. 

Mars told CBS Sports that he'd given up taking on waiver request cases because of the overwhelming demand for them. 

"The year-in-residency rule needed to be changed because coaches were abusing it. They're somewhat to blame," Mars said. "But when historians look back at this, if the NCAA would have dealt with NIL when they should have, they wouldn't have been forced into a corner …

"Maybe this foretells the end of the NCAA," he added.

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