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Changes to transfer waivers could come as soon as this week

NCAA Men's Final Four - Practice

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 05: Fans stand next to a giant NCAA logo outside of the stadium on the practice day prior to the NCAA Men’s Final Four at the Georgia Dome on April 5, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

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The NCAA is getting serious about changing their transfer rules.

There are a couple of options that are up for consideration right now (if you want to read through it all, the fun begins on page 21 here):

  • The first would be to eliminate immediate eligibility waivers for any transfer. This would include both the graduate transfer waiver* and the family hardship waiver. Instead, the student-athlete would be given a waiver for an extension of their five-year clock, meaning that they would be eligible to play in their sixth-year, if necessary.
  • The second is essentially the same as the first option, only it would still allow a way to earn immediate eligibility: the terminal illness of a family member.

*It’s important to not here that the graduate transfer waiver is different than the graduate transfer exception. In working terms, the exception is for a player that has not transferred in his career, i.e. Tarik Black, who graduated in three years from Memphis and transferred to Kansas as a senior. The waiver is needed when a player has already transferred as an undergrad. Think Julius Mays, who played two seasons at N.C. State before graduating from Wright State after playing one year and redshirting another. He transferred to Kentucky for his fifth-year.

These wouldn’t be changes to NCAA rules, they would simply be changes to the guidelines that NCAA staff that grants and denies waivers -- the Subcommittee for Legislative Relief -- uses as a guideline when making these decisions.

These changes will be brought to the Legislative Council this week, and if they are approved, to the Board of Directors for final approval.

I don’t think I could possibly be more against these changes. Personally, I’m of the opinion that as long as the word “student” is being used to define student-athletes, they should be allowed to transfer freely like every single other student at these institutions.

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