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ACC eliminates intraconference transfer sit-out rule

NCAA Football: ACC Media Days Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The ACC has not been known to be much of a trailblazer in recent years, but today announced they would be doing away with the mandated one year sit-out when a player transfers from one ACC school to another. Players transferring within conference may now be eligible to play immediately. The statement was as follows:

The Atlantic Coast Conference announced Monday the elimination of the league’s intraconference transfer rule.

The decision was made by the league’s Board of Directors and was done so unanimously.

The ACC’s intraconference transfer rule was created by the membership in 1996 (excerpt of ACC Bylaws included below).

“The time has come for all student-athletes to have the opportunity to transfer and be permitted to compete immediately,” said ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips. “This decision is in the best interest of our student-athletes as it allows greater flexibility during their collegiate career.”

The statement doesn’t specify, but we can assume this will go into affect with the 2021-2022 academic year.

I hesitate to give John Swofford much credit for anything, but this is a good move and reflects the modern world. Technically James Phillips took over as acting commissioner on February 1st. But we’ve heard nary a peep from him since this alleged transfer, so who knows who’s really pulling all the levers and pulleys back there. To Swofford’s credit, the ACC has been publicly in favor of a one-time transfer without delay rule for more than a year.

It’s unclear if this rule can be used only once. One would assume so, to avoid a player switching multiple times. And obviously the ACC can only mandate within its borders, not at the national level. Since the NCAA is known to an agile organization, quickly adapting to an ever changing world, I bet we’ll be seeing a rule for all member conferences post haste.

Players have been actively using the transfer portal for a while now, so this change just eases that process. Understandably, coaches will be frustrated by it, as some have said the delay disincentivizes players from transfer, and its removal may increase the number of portal entrants, like picking players off of a waiver wire. Time will tell its spread nationally, and its impacts, but overall this should be seen as a positive move.