For the third time since 2012, the NCAA is forming a group made up of student-athletes and athletic department officials to review the NCAA’s Division I transfer rules. The new group will convene this spring and present their findings in 2018.
The new group will be called the “Division I Transfer Working Group” and will be guided by the Division I Board of Directions and the Presidential Forum. Their main goal will be to focus on supporting academic success of graduate and undergraduate students.
The chair of the group is South Dakota State Athletic Director and Division I Council member Justin Sell. He’ll be joined by Jane Miller, a member of the board and faculty athletics rep at Virginia, as vice chair.
“Transfer issues can be very complex. This group is comprised of experienced leaders who will examine the issue with the best interest of student-athletes in mind,” Sell said. “We look forward to collaborating on this issue with the more than 50 presidents and chancellors who serve on both the DI Board of Directors and the Presidential Forum, who will offer their top-level perspective.”
The 19-member group also includes Iowa Athletic Director Gary Barta, Ole Miss AD Ross Bjork, Coastal Carolina football player Nicholas Clark, Colorado AD Rick George, USF AD Mark Harlan, Boise State football head coach Bryan Harsin, and Mid-American Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher, among others.
The issue of transfer rules and regulations was also studied by two other groups formed by the NCAA since 2012. In 2014, the board approved to change the waiver process that allows transfers to receive a sixth year to complete four years of eligibility. It also eliminated the possibility of transfers to apply for waivers allowing them to compete immediately.
Later on in 2015 and early 2016, a second group looked specifically at grad transfers. The legislation they produced enhanced “postgraduate academic eligibility requirements for all graduate students who compete in athletics” according to the NCAA.
The new group will expand on that by focusing on prioritizing academic success and graduation. It will also “aim for a uniform experience for all student-athletes, unless data justify a different standard for certain groups.”
The main issue they also want to focus on that other groups haven’t been able to fix since 2012 is the concerns schools have about the transfer environment not only impacting competitive balance, but also the “well-being of student-athletes.”
Final legislative recommendations are expected from the group before the start of the June 2018 Council meeting.