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DI Council introduces transfer legislation

Proposals mark the end of the Transfer Working Group

Students in specific situations could transfer and compete immediately if legislation introduced by the Division I Council is adopted. The Council also introduced a measure that would increase accountability for schools that accept some graduate transfers. The Council met this week in Indianapolis.

Several possible new rules proposed by the Division I Transfer Working Group were introduced into the 2018-19 legislative cycle. The four proposals would:

  • Allow student-athletes who have enrolled in summer school and received athletics financial aid to transfer and play immediately if their head coach departs before the first day of classes for the fall term.
  • Allow walk-on student-athletes on teams that provide athletics aid and nonrecruited walk-ons to transfer and play immediately.
  • Require schools to count financial aid for postgraduate transfers who receive athletics aid and have one season of eligibility remaining in football, women’s basketball and men’s basketball against team limits for two years, regardless of whether the student-athlete remains enrolled after exhausting athletics eligibility. However, a student who successfully completes all degree requirements before the start of the second year would not count in the second year.
  • Prohibit student-athletes in all sports from competing during the championship season for two different schools in the same academic year.

The proposals are seen as adjustments after the working group’s centerpiece legislation, the notification-of-transfer rule change, was adopted earlier this year. That change will take effect later this month.

Working group chair Justin Sell, athletics director at South Dakota State, said the final recommendations, as well as educational materials on tampering and a recommendation for a review of eligibility waiver guidelines, capped a successful tenure for the group.

“Over the last year and a half, we learned that we can work together to solve complex issues, and we accomplished so much,” Sell said. “The Association still has work to do, but this group’s legacy is very positive.”

The proposals have support from student-athletes on the committee, including former Coastal Carolina football player Nicholas Clark, co-chair of the Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

“I believe these are student-athlete friendly and support an atmosphere of fairness,” Clark, who holds a degree in communications from Coastal Carolina, said. “Every meeting of the working group, the student-athlete voice was pivotal. We as  the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee will continue to educate student-athletes.”

All proposals introduced by the Council will enter the regular Division I legislative cycle. The Council will vote on legislation in 2019. Most new rules are considered for adoption in April.