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NCAA set to approve one-time transfer rule, suspend use of APR

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NCAA National Office Exteriors Photo by C. Morgan Engel/Getty Images

The alteration to the NCAA’s transfer rule, which has been moving along for a while now, is set to be ratified in January. The change will allow all athletes the opportunity to transfer once without having to sit out a year.

It might get a little crazy in college basketball moving forward, but usually the pearl-clutching with things like this exaggerates the reality of the situation. And anyway, this rule change is the right thing to do.

The NCAA is also suspending the enforcement of its stupid-ass Academic Progress Rate, which can penalize programs with postseason bans, among other things, for failing to hit a certain benchmark. Those penalties disproportionately affect poorer schools and HBCUs specifically.

APR penalties will not be applied for the next two years.

They should just throw the APR into the trash bin but the suspension of its use is an obvious move given the roster chaos that is to come. Every college athlete has been granted a free year of eligibility—the spring-sport athletes were granted this relief after seasons were cut short in March, and more recently the NCAA made the same concession to fall- and winter-sport athletes.

That can make roster management a challenge in the near-term and may lead to an increase in the rate of transfers. That has the potential to be detrimental to any given program’s APR.