The NCAA Division I Board of Directors met virtually to discuss new rules around transfers and exemptions earlier this week, approving several sweeping changes which aims to add clarity for both players and coaches ahead of the upcoming academic season.
“The decision to adopt the transfer proposal today reflects the Board’s commitment to enacting transformational changes in college sports,” said Jere Morehead, president at University of Georgia and chair of the Board of Directors.
The NCAA established several different windows for student-athletes to announce their intentions to transfer— as well as give coaches a set time to evaluate prospects and look over the options properly.
The changes spring up as a result of a study the NCAA conducted in the spring regarding transfer portal trends in 2020 and 2021, which revealed of the 16,270 student-athletes to enter across all sports and divisions, only 47 percent were able to find new homes, with 43 percent still considered “active”, which the NCAA defines as prospects “exploring transfer options... transfer[ing] to a non-NCAA school or may have left their sport.”
The new windows, revealed on Wednesday afternoon, are as follows, and applies to all divisions of NCAA play:
- Fall sports: a 45-day window beginning the day after championships selections are made in their sport, or May 1-15. (Reasonable accommodations will be made for participants in the Football Bowl Subdivision and Football Championship Subdivision championship games.)
- Winter sports: a 60-day window beginning the day after championships selections are made in the sport.
- Spring sports: Dec. 1-15, or a 45-day window beginning the day after selections are made in the sport.
There are also now regulations in place which establishes separate windows and exemptions for student-athletes who have been affected by head coach changes or have athletics aid reduced, canceled or not renewed— as well as new regulations for students who otherwise do not meet the one-time transfer exemption.
Student-athletes will also now be guaranteed their scholarships by their new institution upon transfer over the rest of their five-year eligibility or upon the completion of their bachelor degree requirements.
The board also stated they did not adapt the controversial “unlimited transfer” guidance, opting instead to continue research into the idea. A potential “unlimited transfer” rule would allow student-athletes to transfer as often as they desired as long as they met their progress-toward-degree requirements at their new institution.
The effects take place effective immediately across all divisions.