NCAA eases rules on athlete transfers

Former Alabama offensive lineman Brandon Kennedy works through drills during Alabama football practice Monday Nov. 28 2016 at the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility in Tuscaloosa Ala

Student-athletes have five years to complete four seasons of competition, so the new rule will allow an athlete to use a redshirt, if it hasn't been previously used, in up to four games of competition during the season. Under previous rules, any participation in a game meant that a player's redshirt year, which offers them an extra year of competition at some point down the road, was used up.

Upon being entered into the database, college coaches will be allowed to contact the athlete freely and without permission. Last season, this opportunity may have led to redshirts like quarterback Tommy DeVito and cornerback Ifeatu Meliufonwu seeing playing time as they prepared to step into larger roles.

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.

College athletes will no longer need permission from their coach or school to transfer and receive financial aid from another school. In turn, the player's name will be added to a national "transfer database" which allows coaches from other programs to contact that player without restrictions.

Even with the new rule, conferences could still restrict athletes from transferring within the league.

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The NCAA Division I Council announced Wednesday that it will adopt a new proposal that allows student-athletes to transfer without getting the permission of their current institution.

In what is becoming a landmark day for college football rule changes, the NCAA has altered its redshirt policy for the sport. "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", said council chair Blake James, athletic director at the Miami (Fla.). Applications for the rule to be applied to other Division I sports is now being looked at by the council.

Over the past few months, CBS reported multiple other transfer proposals, including one that would force all student-athletes to sit out a year after transferring, and another that would lessen the mandated time out for students who meet a certain GPA threshold.

That's one way the model could work, but there is no limitation, meaning that a player could be used in game one, then game eight, and then the Big Ten title game, and then the College Football Playoff and still count the year as a redshirt.

In an attempt to prevent schools from tampering with student-athletes already enrolled at another institution, the NCAA has made tampering a Level 2 violation.

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