Earning immediate eligibility may be harder than originally expected for student athletes next season. The one-time transfer waiver proposal that would allow college athletes to transfer and become immediately eligible at their new schools has been tabled until the 2021-22 academic year, according to a new report by Brett McMurphy of Stadium.
“One-time transfer waivers are dead until at least 2021-22 academic year, sources told Stadium, as NCAA Division I Council approved a resolution to develop legislation regarding transfer eligibility for January 2021 that would not be effective until 2021-22 academic year,” McMurphy tweeted Wednesday afternoon.
The NCAA was originally slated to vote on the matter this month. However, things got confusing in late-April when conflicting reports began surfacing regarding when the vote would actually take place. The NCAA then released a statement saying the vote would be postponed until January 2021, but reporters quickly challenged that release after Jon Steinbrecher, the chairman of the group spearheading the proposal, clarified the vote was still set for May.
Now, it looks as though it will be January, after all.
One-time transfer waivers are dead until at least 2021-22 academic year, sources told @Stadium, as NCAA Division I Council approved a resolution to develop legislation regarding transfer eligibility for January 2021 that would not be effective until 2021-22 academic year
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) May 20, 2020
Things have shifted quickly for the NCAA and its student athletes.
In February, the organization announced its Transfer Waiver Support Group was considering the idea, and was seeking feedback from its Division I members. As of April 23, the governing body was expected to pass the immediate eligibility proposal for the upcoming season. At that time, the proposal was viewed as “full-speed ahead” for student athletes who were hoping to change programs without having to sit out a year. But by April 30, things had changed again.
“Changes are not appropriate at this time,” reads the story on the NCAA’s website from that day. “Board members recommended the waiver process be sensitive to student-athlete well-being, especially those impacted by COVID-19 in the interim period.”
It seems as though the forces behind the NCAA have not changed their minds in the weeks since then.
As far as the BBN is concerned, a season without such waivers would mean no immediate eligibility for Wake Forest basketball transfer Olivier Sarr, Rhode Island basketball transfer Jacob Toppin, Tennessee women’s basketball transfer Jazmine Massengill, Auburn women’s basketball transfer Robyn Benton and Auburn quarterback transfer Joey Gatewood, among others.
Graduate transfers, including Kentucky’s Davion Mintz, will remain immediately eligible. Non-graduate transfers (including the future Wildcats listed above), can still attempt to earn immediate eligibility using other waivers, including the family hardship waiver. Sarr’s best argument is likely the firing of former Wake Forest head coach Danny Manning, who was dismissed from the program shortly after the deadline to declare for the NBA Draft had passed.
After a rollercoaster of news regarding the possibility of a one-time transfer waiver, it looks like things won’t actually be changing anytime soon.
The NCAA has officially released a statement ruling against the proposed one-time transfer exception for the 2020-21 season. The Division I Council approved a resolution Wednesday that outlined its intention to adopt a comprehensive legislative package that will create “uniform, modernized rules governing eligibility after transfer for student-athletes in all sports” by January 2021.
The comprehensive package will address issues that impact transfer, including academic requirements, roster management considerations, transfer notification dates, accountability measures for schools that accept transfer students, and additional education on the transfer rules and process.
The full release is available here.