One-time transfer rule clears last NCAA step, starts in 2021

The NCAA Division I Board of Directors ratified a rule change Wednesday that will allow all athletes who have not yet transferred the ability to do so one time in a college career and be immediately eligible to play.

The Division I Council adopted the proposed legislation earlier this month. The board took the last step to make the historic rule change official and the Indianapolis-based NCAA clarified some of the details in a news release.

The one-time exception had been previously available to some athletes, just not those in football, basketball, baseball and men’s ice hockey. Now it will be available to all athletes who have not yet transferred, starting with the 2021-22 academic year.

This year, the date for all athletes to notify their current schools that they intend to transfer is July 1. Those dates will shift to May 1 for fall and winter sport athletes and July 1 for spring sport athletes in subsequent years.

The one-time exception will count for athletes who transfer after graduating. Previously, NCAA rules permitted athletes who had graduated to transfer and be immediately eligible.

Now, if an athlete has already use a one-time exception for a transfer as an undergraduate, the athlete is not automatically eligible as a graduate transfer. Athletes can still appl for a waiver to become eligible under certain circumstances.

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