Big 12 proposes new transfer rules for NCAA athletes

By Ben Everett | Sports Writer

Faculty athletic representatives at Baylor and Iowa State have proposed a new rule to the NCAA would allow student-athletes to transfer without sitting out if their head coach has resigned or been fired, or if postseason sanctions have been placed on their program.

Baylor law professor Jeremy Counseller and Iowa State professor of molecular pharmacology Tim Day co-wrote the proposal, which “stands in stark contrast to the present system.”

Under the new rules, football players who were on the 2015 Baylor football team would have been able to transfer to new schools without having to sit out a season.

Members of the 2017 Oregon football team, for example, would be able to transfer to any school other than Florida State and be immediately eligible because their head coach, Willie Taggart, accepted the same position at Florida State.

The proposal came about because the NCAA board of directors mandated Division I to change its transfer rules in the next year, according to CBSSports.

The proposal, which was finalized last month at the NCAA Convention in Indianapolis, gives transferring student athletes the power, rather than the institution they are transferring from.

“It removes all control of transfer decisions from the original institution and provides it to the student-athletes,” the draft states, “and this proposal treats all student-athletes the same, regardless of sport.”

Under the current rules, schools and coaches can block a player from being released from his or her scholarship or prevent an athlete from transferring to certain institutions.

The proposed change provides immediate eligibility in four specific situations:

“1. the student-athlete earned a baccalaureate degree at the original institution;

2. the student-athlete’s head coach at the original institution resigned or was fired during or after the most recent season of competition, except that the student-athlete is not immediately eligible at another institution at which the head coach is employed;

3. sanctions have been imposed on the original institution that limit post-season competition in the student-athlete’s sport;

4. the student-athlete did not receive athletically-related financial aid at the original institution.”

The proposal also states that “student-athletes in all sports should be subject to the same transfer landscape.”

Currently, only football, basketball, baseball and hockey transfers are subject to the year of ineligibility while sports such as volleyball and softball can transfer freely. The proposed changes would mean that all sports would be under the same transfer rules.

One of the main driving points in making the changes, according to the draft, is the negative effect the current transfer rules have on education.

“Data clearly indicate that, in broad strokes, transfer has negative educational implications –– both on likelihood of graduation and time to degree,” the draft states.

The proposal adds a year to the clock for transferring students who are not immediately eligible, providing greater educational opportunity.

The Lariat reached out to the Baylor athletics department and to Counseller; both had no comment on the proposal.

Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard said the proposal empowers student athletes.

“Basically, we’re saying kids can go anywhere they want,” Pollard told CBSSports. “For the first time ever in college athletics, the student-athlete is empowered.”