NCAA passes reform that allows athletes to transfer without permission

NCAA President Mark Emmert speaks during a news conference at the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament Thursday

In what is becoming a landmark day for college football rule changes, the NCAA has altered its redshirt policy for the sport.

Transfer candidates previously needed permission to contact other programs.

Miami Athletic Director Blake James, the Division I Council Chair, said it's a move that will benefit both players and coaches.

Under the old transfer model, student-athletes had to receive permission from their current schools to contact a different university before they were allowed to receive a scholarship offer.

"This creates a safe place for student-athletes to have a conversation with their coaches and makes the whole process more transparent", Nicholas Clark said.

However, under the new system, individual conferences can agree on their own transfer rules - like mandating time off of competion when an athlete transfers within his or her conference.

The NCAA announced changes to rules involving transfers and redshirt procedures Wednesday.

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While it's unclear where most of the Class of 2018 stands in regard to early playing time, it stands to reason that down the stretch of this fall - as has been the case in the past - there will be players who can benefit from the four-game redshirt rule. Instead, the NCAA is creating a database in which schools must input a transfer candidate's information within two business days of that player filing their transfer paperwork.

But a change to that rule will now allow for some breathing room. Schools would often block permission to conference opponents, rivals or programs that recruited prospects out of high school, which would often force student-athletes to transfer down to junior college before landing at their school of choice.

The NCAA transfer working group, led by South Dakota State athletic director Justin Sell, has been working on reform since past year.

This legislation should allow younger players an opportunity to receive valuable in-game experience without burning one of their four years of eligibility.

There was discussion about easing that restriction, which doesn't exist in most NCAA sports. If he played in one more game, he would not have been eligible for a medical redshirt. There was never serious consideration to lifting the year-in-residence altogether, but tying unrestricted transfer to an athlete's grade-point average was considered.

Beyond this change, the Transfer Working Group is considering other transfer issues, including the processes surrounding postgraduate transfers.

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