College transfers are getting more freedom when it comes to choosing their next school.
The Pac-12 and Big West conferences each announced Monday that they are doing away with intraconference transfer rules that have prevented student-athletes from competing immediately after transferring from one member school to another.
“The unanimous decision removes the requirement that all undergraduate transfers within the Conference serve one academic year in residence at their new institution before being permitted to compete,” the Pac-12’s press release said. “Moving forward, the eligibility of intraconference transfers will be governed by NCAA legislation. The decision is effective immediately for all transfers entering their second Conference institution in the fall of 2021 and only applies the first time an undergraduate student-athlete decides to transfer.”
The Big West Board of Directors released a similar statement announcing the immediate end of the league’s intraconference transfer policy.
“We commend the Big West Board of Directors for acting in the best interests of Big West student-athletes,” Big West commissioner Dan Butterly said. "Along with the NCAA DI Board of Directors passing a uniform one-time transfer exception in all sports, this decision provides greater flexibility for our student-athletes.”
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The Big West bylaws had included a provision requiring transfers within the conference to fulfill a residence requirement of one academic year before becoming eligible.
“Permitting transfers to compete immediately aligns with our commitment to creating a holistic student-athlete experience,” said Howard Gillman, Big West Board of Directors chair and University of California, Irvine chancellor. “We’re pleased that we will now offer our student-athletes the same opportunities afforded any other student who wishes to transfer.”
The ACC Board of Directors voted earlier this spring to allow student-athletes to transfer within conference without a delay in competition, while the Mid-American Conference did the same, the SEC is expected to make a decision by June, and CBS Sports reported the Big 12 is “heavily leaning” toward getting rid of the rule.
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