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NCAA Transfer Rule Updated

Coaches are no longer allowed to weigh in on where a player can or can’t go after a transfer.

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Michael Gbinije at Duke
Michael Gbinije started out at Duke before transferring to Syracuse, which was then in the process of joining the ACC.
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The NCAA finally got around to reforming the transfer rule but didn’t go as far as some people hoped or expected.

The main thing is that there is a better process in place and the coaches cannot dictate where the players are not allowed to go. Players now simply inform the coach, who has two days to put the info in an NCAA database.

So in other words, when Cam Johnson wanted to transfer to UNC last year, then-Pitt coach Kevin Stallings initially refused to release him (he eventually backed down after a masterly media campaign by Johnson).

A player no longer needs his coach’s permission to transfer. Conferences can still ban intra-conference transfers, however. The ACC for instance forces you to sit out one season and forfeit another season of eligibility. This didn‘t apply to Johnson, who left Pitt as a grad transfer, although Stallings could still dictate where he couldn‘t go.

It’s a step. The NCAA, in its bureaucratic way, is still discussing doing away with the requirement to sit out a year but that’s in committee so don’t hold your breath.

Tip to developers: build an app that ties in and have it send alerts when a new player is entered. Coaches will pay you well for that.

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