NCAA D-II Eliminates Residency Requirement for Student-Athletes Who Transfer

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The Division II Management Council this week supported emergency legislation that would eliminate Division II's year-in-residence requirement for undergraduate student-athletes transferring between four-year schools and implement new academic standards for immediate eligibility. 

The Division II Executive Board will review the proposal, recommended by the Division II Academic Requirements Committee, at its April 23 meeting. 

If adopted, transfer student-athletes must meet certain academic transfer standards to be immediately eligible for competition. The proposal has an immediate effective date, so student-athletes who have transferred during the 2023-24 academic year would be immediately eligible if the new academic transfer standards are met. Current legislation requires undergraduate transfer student-athletes from four-year schools to serve a year in residence after transferring to become eligible for competition, unless the student-athlete meets a transfer exception.

Additionally, student-athletes who do not meet the new academic transfer standards can regain eligibility after they have completed their initial full-time term of enrollment at their new school and have met all applicable progress-toward-degree requirements. 

Championships 

The Management Council approved a new regional alignment in women's lacrosse to distribute teams more evenly in each region, enhance how automatic qualifiers are spread out among the regions and minimize travel distance for teams. The new alignment includes 32 teams in the Atlantic region, 29 in the East, 27 in the Midwest and 24 in the South. 

Additionally, the council approved a model for the Division II Field Hockey Championship in which bids would be allocated annually based on an access ratio that accounts for sports sponsorship. The model, effective for the 2024 championship, is similar to the process used for the Division II baseball, women's soccer, and men's and women's tennis championships. Based on current sports sponsorship numbers, this would result in a distribution of five bids from the Atlantic region (two automatic qualifiers, one each from the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference and South Atlantic Conference, plus three at-large teams) and three bids from the East region (one automatic qualifier from the Northeast-10 Conference, plus two at-large teams). The Division II Field Hockey Committee made the recommendation after the bracket expanded from six to eight teams, aiming to provide more equitable access to the championship. 

Budget 

The Management Council supported budget requests for the 2024-25 fiscal year recommended by the Division II Strategic Planning and Finance Committee. The approved budget provides enhancements, including increased per diem and additional championships enhancements.  The Executive Board will review the recommendation next week. 

Women's wrestling 

The Management Council sponsored a proposal for the 2025 Convention to add women's wrestling as a National Collegiate championship, beginning in winter 2026. 

The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics made the recommendation to all three divisions after women's wrestling, part of the Emerging Sports for Women program, surpassed the 40-school threshold to be considered for NCAA championship status.

Other action 

  • The Management Council approved noncontroversial legislation to amend and eliminate several recruiting rules to provide more autonomy to schools and simplify the application. Some amendments include eliminating the restriction on the number of meals an institution may provide a prospective student-athlete during an unofficial visit, amending the local sports club legislation to eliminate the restriction on basketball and the 100-mile radius requirement, and eliminating the recruiting calendars.
  • The Management Council approved a policy to establish a two-year expedited provisional membership process
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