DI Council grants waiver to allow transfer student-athletes to compete immediately

The Division I Council granted a blanket waiver allowing all transfer student-athletes to compete immediately this season if specific criteria are met.

DI board backs transfer proposal, suspends academic penalties

The Division I Board of Directors strongly supports legislation that would allow all Division I student-athletes the opportunity to transfer and compete immediately, regardless of the sport they play. The board met virtually Wednesday.

DI Council proposal would expand transfer exception

All Division I student-athletes would have the ability to transfer and compete immediately once during their collegiate experience if a measure introduced by the Division I Council is adopted. The Council met by videoconference Tuesday and...

Tracking Transfer in Division I Men’s Basketball

National data indicates that many of today’s college graduates transfer at some point on their way to a degree.  This is true among student-athletes, as well, and may be most visible in Division I men’s basketball. Tracking movement from school to school for research purposes can be difficult, but recent NCAA studies have done just that and uncovered some interesting findings:

  • The rate of transfer between four-year colleges in Division I men’s basketball is high relative to most other sports, but not the highest (see tables in full report).
  • The percentage of 4-4 transfers (those who transfer from one four-year institution to another) on Division I men’s basketball squads increased in 2018 and 2019 (blue line in Figure 1), while the rate of two-year college transfers in men’s basketball has remained relatively flat (red line).
  • That said, about 40% of all men’s basketball players who enter Division I directly out of high school depart their initial school by the end of their sophomore year.

Where do these transfers end up? Transfers were identified by merging the 2020 Division I Basketball Transfers list from the Verbal Commits website with all Division I men’s basketball student-athletes listed in the 2019-20 Transfer Portal. Of the scholarship players on the list, 648 were identified as transferring to another school and joining the basketball team. In 2020, 63% of the transfers went to another Division I school, which was an increase from 2019 (54%). The percentage transferring to Division II remained near 25%, while those leaving for non-NCAA colleges (two-year colleges or National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics schools) declined to their lowest levels since we began tracking transfers (Figure 2). Similar to years past, 1 in 10 “up-transferred” to a more competitive program.

NCAA GOALS survey data finds close to 90% of all men’s basketball transfers say they leave for athletic reasons. Absent proper academic planning, many of these student-athletes lose credits upon transfer and register lower Academic Progress Rates and graduation rates at their new schools than seen among nontransfers


PowerPoint describing methods and data in more detail.

Download a PDF copy of this Extra Point: Tracking Transfer in Division I Men’s Basketball

(Published Feb. 2021)

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New group working toward uniform transfer rule in Division I

The Division I Council Coordination Committee expanded the Transfer Waiver Working Group, formed last fall to study and recommend changes to the waiver process.

NCAA Division I Working Group on Transfers Roster

Name Title School Conference Affiliation
Erin Adkins Associate athletics director - compliance UCLA PAC-12  
Ross Bjork Athletics director Texas A&M University Southeastern Conference DI Student-Athlete Experience Committee
Jackie Blackett Senior woman administrator Columbia University – Barnard College The Ivy League DI Committee on Academics
Alexis Garrett   Women’s track and field student-athlete Troy University Sun Belt Conference   DI Student-Athlete Advisory Commitee
Hanna Hall   Women’s basketball student-athlete University at Buffalo, the State University of NY Mid-American Conference  
Jennifer Heppel Commissioner Patriot League Patriot League DI Committee on Academics
Erik Janss Baseball student-athlete LaSalle University Atlantic 10 Conference DI Student-Athlete Advisory Committee
Stephen LaPorta Assistant athletics director for compliance James Madison University Colonial Athletic Association DI Committee for Legislative Relief chair
Jason Leonard Executive director of compliance University of Oklahoma Big 12 NAAC Board
Shane Lyons Director of athletics West Virginia University Big 12 DI Council
Kaity McKittrick Deputy director of athletics Lafayette College Patriot League Former DI Committee for Legislative Relief chair
Kathy Meehan Senior deputy athletics director, senior woman administrator St. John’s University Big East DI Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee
Gloria Nevarez Commissioner West Coast Conference West Coast Conference DI Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee
Chris Reynolds Vice president for intercollegiate athletics Bradley University Missouri Valley Conference  
Julianne Serovich Faculty athletics representative University of South Florida American Athletic Conference  
Jon Steinbrecher, chair Commissioner   Mid-American Conference DI Council vice chair
Kevin Warren Commissioner Big Ten Conference Big Ten  
Ted White Deputy Athletics Director University of Virginia Atlantic Coast Conference DI Committee on Academics
Josh Whitman Athletics director University of Illinois Big Ten  

Division I Working Group on Transfers

The NCAA Division Council adopted the recommended transfer eligibility resolution (NCAA Proposal No. R-2020-6) during its May 20, 2020, meeting. The resolution states that the Council will work with key stakeholders to develop a comprehensive legislative and policy package regarding transfer eligibility for adoption not later than January 2021 and effective not later than for eligibility to compete during the 2021-22 academic year. The resolution also articulates a framework to achieve a uniform and equitable approach to transfer eligibility, while acknowledging ancillary items that may need adjustment with such changes.

The NCAA Division I Working Group on Transfers is charged to fulfill the parameters of Proposal No. R-2020-6 – Transfer Eligibility Resolution.  The working group will collaborate with the respective governance and sport oversight committees to develop a comprehensive legislative package.
A legislative concept will be recommended to the Council in August 2020 with an opportunity for membership feedback and modification as appropriate prior to November 2020.  The proposal will be voted on by the Council in the January 2021. 

Working Group Resources:

Working Group Proceedings:

Division I Council extends waiver allowing virtual, nonphysical activities through July

Division I student-athletes in sports other than football and basketball may continue to participate in eight hours of required, virtual nonphysical activities per week.

DI Council approves transfer resolution

The Division I Council approved a resolution Wednesday that outlined its intention to adopt by January a comprehensive legislative package creating uniform, modernized rules governing eligibility after transfer for student-athletes in all sports.

DI Council continues COVID-19 impact discussions

The Division I Council spent much of its meeting Friday discussing the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on student-athletes, schools and conferences. Recognizing the severity of the impact, the group took action to address potential needs.


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