NCAA Council 'unlikely' to eliminate one-time transfer rule
July 31, 2022
According to various sources, the NCAA Board of Directors is unlikely to agree to repeal the regulation forbidding multiple transfers during its August meeting, meaning the rule would stay in place. Another potential delay in the implementation of transfer windows is also expected.
The NCAA Council recently approved a proposal to eliminate the one-time transfer rule to implement transfer windows. However, the proposal requires schools to provide financial aid to student-athletes who transfer during their undergraduate or graduate school's five-year eligibility period. The reforms were part of comprehensive measures designed to modernize college athletics.
After hearing about the NCAA's decision to allow athletes to transfer unlimited times, Tennessee coach Josh Heupel was surprised. He said it only added to the confusion surrounding the transfer portal.
"Surprised at that? Absolutely surprised at that. I think it only heightens the craziness to the transfer portal," the Tennessee coach said.
Potential impact of unlimited transfer
According to sources, the presidents of the Board of Governors and the Transformation Committee have expressed their concerns about the potential impact of unlimited free agency on the operations of college athletics. There has also been much public backlash against the proposal from football coaches and men's basketball.
If the one-time transfer rule is abolished, college athletes would be able to transfer several times during their academic careers, as per the reports. They would be immediately eligible to play at another school if they are academically eligible.
They could also make additional moves if they decide to transfer during a certain period. Currently, athletes at four-year universities are only allowed to transfer for one free transfer.
There are still concerns about the impact of transferring on an athlete's academic success and ability to graduate. One year into the NIL period, there is data to be collected on this issue, although it is unclear whether the one-time transfer has a substantial influence.
Several sources told The Athletic that the one-time transfer rule is expected to be sent back to the Committee on the Transformation and the Board of Governors for a vote. It would be unlikely to pass if the proposal was taken up for a vote.
Two sources said the Board would likely send back the entire one-time transfer rule, noting that it doesn't work as well as it should and could lead to more lawsuits. Another source said that if the Board only restricted the ability of athletes to transfer without providing them with opportunities, it could cause the NCAA to be sued.
Moreover, one source said that the Board could remove the one-time transfer rule, but it could also vote on the other components of the rule, such as the transfer windows and financial aid. This is because the Board has signaled its willingness to address this issue.
The one-time transfer rule is a hot-button issue that the Board is expected to address to show its commitment to addressing antitrust concerns and improving the lives of athletes. One source said that it could be a half-step solution.
"It's probably best as a whole package, but it would at least be a half-step," the source said.