US NCAA set to give athletes more 'freedom' when deciding to transfer


"I think it'd be great to be able to play four games and save the redshirt", Frost said.

Much of the talk about transfers focuses on the so-called year-in-residence, the one year a player in the most high-profile sports such as football and basketball must sit out after switching schools.

The executive director of the American Football Coaches Association and former Louisiana-Monroe head coach had been pushing for almost two decades to change the NCAA's rules regarding redshirts.

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As we've seen in recent weeks with the SEC voting to allow inter-conference graduate transfers, the Power Five conferences can implement their own nuances to a national rule. "Redshirt football student-athletes are more likely to remain engaged with the team, and starters will be less likely to feel pressure to play through injuries", said council chair Blake James, athletic director at the Miami (Fla.).

Starting in October, an athlete who wants to transfer just needs to notify his current school, which would then place him in a national database of available transfers. "Coaches will appreciate the additional flexibility and ability to give younger players an opportunity to participate in limited competition". As part of the rule change approved this week, tampering with a current student-athlete at another school is now a potential Level 2 violation which could bring penalties from the NCAA's Infractions Committee. This new rule comes following a recommendation from the NCAA's 19-member Division I Transfer Working Group, who studied, researched and debated the issue for six months. The council adopted a process this week that will allow athletes to transfer to another school without seeking permission from their current school. "I'm proud of the effort the transfer working group put forth to make this happen for student-athletes, coaches and schools".

The new rule could change how college coaches handle playing time for certain players, especially younger ones. "The opportunity to play in a small number of games will ease this decision for coaches and help the student-athlete's development and transition to the college game".

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Nicholas Clark, a former Coastal Carolina football player and member of the Division I transfer group, offered up these comments on the new rule.

The new rule would've been especially useful for United Kingdom during times late in a season when injuries stack up and the Cats have few options at specific positions like on special teams.

Update: Also of note, the rule change will be in effect for the 2018-2019 season. Previously, an athlete who plays in two or three games and gets hurt can apply for a medical redshirt waiver to gain back that lost year of eligibility.

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