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#pounditSaturday, December 5, 2020

Report: Big Ten pushed to allow college athletes to transfer once without penalty

The Big Ten is making a push to allow college athletes to transfer without as much of a penalty.

The current NCAA rules state that players competing in five sports (men’s basketball, women’s basketball, baseball, hockey and football) must sit out a year if they transfer. However, the Big Ten proposed legislation last year that said athletes in those five sports would not have to sit out a year for their first transfer, according to CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd. A second transfer would result in the student-athlete needing to sit out a year.

The proposal went unpublished by the NCAA in 2019, Dodd says, and the NCAA Board of Directors put a moratorium on transfer-related proposals for the 2019-2020 calendar year.

The landscape for athletic transfers has changed in recent years.

The NCAA implemented a “transfer portal”, which is a database where coaches can see which student-athletes are looking to transfer, making it easier for the players to find new schools. Student-athletes also can seek waivers to be granted immediate eligibility to play. Those waivers are approved and denied on a subjective, case-by-case basis.

Michigan Wolverines head football coach Jim Harbaugh is a proponent of this proposal. He believes that rather than determining who is granted a waiver on a case-by-case basis, all athletes should be allowed a one-time transfer without penalty.

The transfer rule seemingly exists for two historic reasons: one, because studies previously showed students who did not transfer tended to have more academic success; and two, to prevent mercenary-type situations that existed in the early days of the NCAA.

The NCAA seems to understand the current issue is a matter of fairness, and that allowing one-time transfers is the fairest way to handle things.

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