The NCAA Division I council approved a package of guidelines that included language to narrow the situations in which a player could be granted immediate eligibility with an NCAA transfer waiver. The new guidelines are not rules, but a set of directions for the Committee on Legislative Relief, which decides whether or not to grant the waivers.
They are thought to be in response to a significant increase in the number of waiver requests being submitted to the NCAA this summer as well as growing frustration among some schools and fans regarding decisions that appear to be inconsistent in similar cases.
Non-graduate transfers are currently required to sit out a season if not granted a transfer waiver. The NCAA changed four guidelines in an attempt to help the governing body decide when a player who has transferred to a new school can receive a transfer waiver.
Here are a few of the more notable changes:
One of the most major changes came for transfer waiver requests that are submitted because a player’s immediate family member suffered a recent injury or illness.
A player’s new school now has to explain to the NCAA the player’s role in providing care of the immediate family member who is ill or injured. There’s additional limitations: The player must have transferred within or immediately after the academic year after learning of the injury or illness, and the new school has to be within 100 miles of the immediate family member who is ill or injured.
The previous school’s athletic director also has to provide a statement on why the player said they were transferring, and the new school has to prove the student is “in good academic standing.”
Another one of the guidelines included how players can receive waivers by proving they no longer have the opportunity to play at their previous school.
Now, the NCAA is requiring the player’s new school to provide a statement from the previous school’s athletic director that says whether or not that player still had a spot on the team. The statement also has to include whether or not the player was dismissed from the team, and, if they were dismissed, the date of that dismissal. The previous school’s athletic director also has to say whether the player was “in good academic standing” when they left, plus the reasons the player gave for transferring from the school.
In addition, the new school has to explain the player’s “need to transfer” and their “treatment plan,” and the previous school’s athletic director has to provide a statement that explains why the player “indicated they were transferring.”
There were also cases where players were given waivers because they were the “victim of egregious behavior” that directly impacted “his or her health, safety or well-being.”
Previously, the player’s previous school had to provide the NCAA its “position on the waiver request.” That’s been changed. The previous school now has to provide a statement explaining why the player “indicated” they were transferring and provide proof that the player is “in good academic standing.”
The changes appear to be in line with the NCAA’s attempts to allay fears from coaches that the transfer market was trending toward the free-agency-style, offseason player movement seen in pro sports.
This story first appeared in The NightCap, CollegeAD’s evening newsletter. The NightCap delivers the day’s college athletics news in simple bullet points, giving you what you need to know in just a few lines. Get The NightCap today.