Division I Eliminates Permission-to-Contact Transfer Process

Mercedes-Benz Stadium during the College Football Playoff National Championship

Mercedes-Benz Stadium during the College Football Playoff National Championship

The NCAA announced changes to rules involving transfers and redshirt procedures Wednesday.

"College athletes competing in Division I football can participate in up to four games in a season without using a season of competition, the Division I Council decided this week at its meeting in Indianapolis", the statement reads.

The ruling allows a player to play four full seasons and up to four games in a fifth year.

The idea behind the ruling is to allow players to keep a year of eligibility should they suffer a serious injury or "other factors" that limit them to a small number of games. "Redshirt football student-athletes are more likely to remain engaged with the team, and starters will be less likely to feel pressure to play through injuries".

Virginia football coach Bronco Mendenhall has been an outspoken proponent of the NCAA changing its redshirt rules to allow younger players the chance to get some limited game experience without losing a full year of eligibility. But now, a player could hypothetically play the entire month of September, sit out the rest of the season and play the following season without a lost year of eligibility.

Standoffs between athletes and coaches over transfers have often led to embarrassing results for schools standing in the way of players who want to leave.

A general view of Lane Stadium
A general view of Lane Stadium

"Once the student-athlete's name is in the database, other coaches are free to contact that individual". The new rule will go into effect during the upcoming, 2018-19 season.

The executive director of the American Football Coaches Association and former Louisiana-Monroe head coach had been pushing for almost two decades to change the NCAA's rules regarding redshirts.

The change in policy is also a major win for coaches at the FCS level (63-scholarship limit), especially at private schools that don't draw many walk-ons and commonly have depth issues as coaches have tried to redshirt as many true freshmen as possible. Previously, college coaches were able to block the transferring athlete from certain schools, and the athlete was required to obtain permission for schools to contact him. Instead of a student-athlete asking for permission to transfer from his or her school, the student-athlete will now simply inform the school of his or her decision to transfer.

NU athletic director Bill Moos said Wednesday afternoon that more transfer rule changes are likely on the way. "This will clean the process up and give more influence and flexibility to the student-athlete".

Starting this fall college football players will now be able to take part in up to four games and still keep their redshirt.

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