The penalty-free, one-time immediate transfer rule is expected to pass in January and go into effect starting Aug. 1, 2021.
In official documents obtained by Pat Forde and Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated, the NCAA Working Group on Transfers has submitted a proposal to the Division I Council that will allow student-athletes a one-time transfer without sitting out a season, with fall and winter sport athletes needing to notify their schools of a transfer by May 1. This deadline will be extended to July 1 if a school sees an end-of-year coaching change or an athlete’s scholarship was not renewed for the following season. Spring sport athletes will also have a July 1 deadline.
Should an athlete miss his or her scheduled deadline, they will not be immediately eligible at their new school.
Also included in the proposal is the fact that institutions will not be able to restrict transfers to specific conferences or schools. This follows the previous 2018 ruling that coaches could no longer block transfers to rival programs or intraconference schools, which went hand-in-hand with the creation of the transfer portal.
The NCAA will also not impose limits on incoming transfers a Division I program may accept in a single year, meaning schools will be able to round out their rosters with numerous high-profile prospects on the transfer market in addition to the high school signees they’ve already added.
Beyond the one-time transfer rule, Sports Illustrated is reporting that the Division I Council will also review a proposal regarding name, image and likeness rules for student-athletes.
Should the penalty-free transfer rule go into effect, as expected, Kentucky will no longer be limited to graduate transfers and/or immediate eligibility waivers to complement its high school recruiting classes moving forward. Instead, the UK coaching staff will be able to recruit the best players in both college basketball and in the high school ranks to build a roster of veteran standouts and five-star prospects.
Needless to say, this is significant news for the Kentucky basketball program.