NCAA eases rules on athlete transfers, redshirts for college football

NCAA President Mark Emmert speaks during a news conference at the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament Thursday

The NCAA announced on Wednesday a new rule that will allow players to participate in up to, but no more than, four games while still being able to take a redshirt year. The NCAA also adopted a new policy this week that prevents schools from telling student-athletes where they can and can't transfer to.

It also adds tampering with a current student-athlete at another school to the list of potential NCAA Level 2 violations, which is considered a significant breach of conduct.

According to the ACC's proposal: "The current rule often places coaches in a hard position to decide whether to play a student-athlete in a limited amount of competition or to preserve the student-athlete's season of eligibility". The rule change ends the controversial practice in which some coaches or administrators would prevent students from having contact with specific schools. "Coaches will appreciate the additional flexibility and ability to give younger players an opportunity to participate in limited competition".

The new transfer rule goes into effect October 15.

The outgoing rule that required athletes to get permission before transferring was meant to prevent schools from recruiting athletes from other schools. The new NCAA rule does not change the injury redshirt process.

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"This change promotes not only fairness for college athletes, but also their health and well-being", Miami athletics director Blake James, chairman of the Division I Council, said in a statement. The NCAA notes, however, that conferences can enact rules that are more restrictive than the national rule.

It will be interesting to see how all these changes play out down the road but the bottom line is it was a big, big day for players across the country with these rules proposals getting passed.

If a student enrolls midyear and plays in a postseason football game before or during their first term, the new rule does not apply. "It's a positive for our student-athletes to be afforded the opportunity to get some limited game experience without penalizing them". "This will clean the process up and give more influence and flexibility to the student-athlete".

"This creates a safe place for student-athletes to have a conversation with their coaches and makes the whole process more transparent", former Coastal Carolina football player Nicholas Clark said in a release. As of now, schools can not cut off an athlete's financial aid based on intent to transfer at the end of a term - but the NCAA will vote on two different proposals that would allow institutions to end aid after an athlete's intent to transfer has been made clear. "The new exception allows football players to preserve a season of competition if, for example, injuries or other factors result in them competing in a small number of games".

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