The NCAA Division I Council voted on Wednesday to allow for football and basketball players to have a one-time transfer before graduating without having to sit out a season, per the Associated Press.
The AP and the Athletic have cited multiple sources with direct knowledge of the council’s actions on Wednesday as asking not to be identified while confirming the news. The AP reports that the council’s decisions will not become official until the meetings end on Thursday.
The one-time transfer exemption has been in place for several NCAA non-revenue sports for years. But student-athletes in football, baseball, men’s and women’s basketball and ice hockey were required a special waiver for immediate eligibility.
That NCAA and the SEC allowed a one-time special “blanket waiver” exemption last season for transfers to have immediate eligibility on account of hardships created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
An SEC spokesman told DawgNation on Wednesday that there has been no change to the SEC intraconference transfer policy, which still requires a waiver for immediate eligibility, at this time. It’s a policy that is being reviewed and will be discussed by league presidents this spring.
The NCAA also granted a waiver that allowed fall semester athletes another year of eligibility on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Athletes who have graduated from school, however, were allowed to transfer and play without sitting out.
The new rule allowing for immediate eligibility will begin this fall semester.
More than 1,000 Division I men’s basketball players (1,366) flooded the NCAA transfer portal this offseason in anticipation of the rule’s passage.
Georgia football coach Kirby Smart has landed top-rated recruiting classes since taking over as the Bulldogs’ head coach before the 2016 season.
Smart shared that while he would use the transfer portal, it would not become a major source for adding a number players.
“It’s not the primary source of finding football players,” Smart said earlier this spring. “We want to recruit, develop, and work to get the best football players we possibly can in here. I don’t think the guys that come out of the portal have issues or problems, that’s just not our normal protocol.
“It’s not what we want to build our program based around. It’s a need-based deal.”
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said much the same, and the Tigers went one step further in adding a staff position geared specifically toward monitoring and evaluating players in the NCAA transfer portal.