It’s been a strange week, what with the NCAA making a stunning amount of sense. They have rightfully adjusted the redshirt rule to allow redshirting college football players to participate in as many as four games. They have also updated their rules for transfers in a way that is completely beneficial to athletes:
Beginning in October, Division I student-athletes will have the ability to transfer to a different school and receive a scholarship without asking their current school for permission.
The Division I Council adopted a proposal this week that creates a new “notification-of-transfer” model. This new system allows a student to inform his or her current school of a desire to transfer, then requires that school to enter the student’s name into a national transfer database within two business days. Once the student-athlete’s name is in the database, other coaches are free to contact that individual.
(This rule applies to all NCAA sports.)
Kids no longer have to request a release, nor can they be blocked by their previous school or coach from going anywhere else. Take that, vindictive lamers!
Unfortunately, this rule does not prevent conferences from imposing their own restrictions. Former NC State recruit Saddiq Bey, for example, received a full release this spring from the school but was restricted from playing in the ACC because of a league-wide vote. That can still happen.
Nonetheless, this is clear progress, and it should be pointed out also that the NCAA made tampering a far more significant crime as well. Tampering was the misguided motivation behind its original bad and stupid transfer rules, and the alteration here is obviously an attempt to get out of in front of the “it’s gonna be open season on tampering!” crowd.
I tend to think these changes make tampering less likely, because the transfer process is cleaner. Player says bye to current school and gets to leave free and clear, as is his right. Player is placed in national database within two days. All coaches everywhere are then free to contact said player. That structure will help, I think.