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NCAA approves rule that ends ability of coaches to block transfers

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JACKSONVILLE, FL - MARCH 19: Mississippi Rebels and Xavier Musketeers players run by the logo at mid-court during the second round of the 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena on March 19, 2015 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

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I no longer will have to waste words on this here website about college coaches blocking players from transferring to a different school.

On Wednesday, the NCAA announced that the Division I Council has adopted a proposal that will create a “notification of transfer” process. Put another way, the NCAA has changed the model for they way that athletes transfer. Instead of having to request a release from their university in order to get permission to contact other programs, a student will simply have to inform their current school of their desire to transfer, and the school will be required to, within two days, upload that player’s name into a national transfer database.

A player can be contacted once their name is in that database.

And they can receive a scholarship at their new school regardless of whether or not the head coach at their former school wants that to happen.

This is a good thing, and it should streamline a process that is becoming more and more common in college basketball. It will also eliminate all the columns that people like myself have to write explaining why it is dumb and unfair that coaches can restrict where players are allowed to transfer and still receive an athletic scholarship.

There is an important note to make here, however: Conferences can still enact legislation on this matter that is stricter than the national rule, and the expectation is that there will be quite a few conferences that restrict players transferring to another school within their league. That’s more or less the standard practice today.

It’s also important to note that any coach caught tampering with a player before their name in submitted into the transfer database will be hit with a Level 2 violation, but coaches that are dumb enough to get caught tampering don’t likely have a long future in this business.

The Transfer Working Group that initiated this proposal is still working through legislation regarding grad transfers as well as other topics within the larger discussion on transfers.