Division I college football players will now be able to play in up to four games per season without using a season of eligibility, the NCAAannounced Wednesday.
The new rule will have the greatest impact on true freshmen as they get acclimated later in the season, players recovering from offseason injuries that might otherwise miss a whole year and players who were going to redshirt but would've lost a year of eligibility late in the season due to a lack of depth and injuries at their position.
Currently, an athlete must ask a coach for permission to contact other schools when choosing to transfer. Once the name is in the database, other coaches can contact that student.
The new rule was passed with players that are struck down by early-season injuries in mind, but will also allow players that are used sparingly to prolong their college careers, creating more opportunity for athletes to contribute on the field of competition. That rule was meant to stop DI coaches from recruiting athletes from other DI schools.
Even with the new rule, conferences could still restrict athletes from transferring within the league. "I'm proud of the effort the Transfer Working Group put forth to make this happen for student-athletes, coaches and schools".
"The membership showed today that it supports this significant change in transfer rules", said Justin Sell, chair of the Division I Transfer Working Group and athletics director at South Dakota State.
Like other Power Five conferences, the ACC has extra restrictions on athletes who transfer within the conference.
According to the NCAA, the rule change is based in player-safety reasons.
Additionally, in the next week or so, legislation regarding financial aid could be modified. Within two days, the school must enter the athlete's name into a national transfer database.
The Transfer Working Group will continue working on other transfer issues, including rules surrounding postgraduate transfers, and still is exploring the possibility of uniform transfer rules. "This will clean the process up and give more influence and flexibility to the student-athlete".
The previous rule was scrutinized as transferring players were limited in what schools they were able to choose from after being blocked from specific programs.
"This change promotes not only fairness for college athletes, but also their health and well-being".
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.