College transfer rule to stay the same in football, basketball during 2020-21 season

Gary Bedore, The Kansas City Star on

Published in Basketball

A proposed rule that some say would lead to an unheard-of number of transfers in college basketball and football will not be implemented for the upcoming 2020-21 school year.

Instead, it's possible -- maybe even likely -- players will be allowed to transfer without sitting out a season's worth of games as early as the 2021-22 academic year.

The NCAA this week in a news release announced that its Division I Council has "approved a resolution that outlined its intention to adopt by January a comprehensive legislative package creating uniform, modernized rules governing eligibility after transfer for student-athletes in all sports."

On the horizon is new legislation that could allow athletes in football, men's and women's basketball, baseball and men's ice hockey to be able to transfer and not have to sit out a year. Currently athletes in all sports except those mentioned are able to transfer and play in games at their new schools immediately.

The NCAA does allow graduates (with a year of eligibility remaining) in football and basketball to transfer and not have to sit out a year of competition.

Had a new rule been implemented this week, it's possible chaos would've ensued, with record numbers of basketball and football players electing to seek out new opportunities with the school year quickly approaching. Many players might've elected to transfer to schools closer to family amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic uncertainties.


Under the old rules, 775 players have entered the men's basketball transfer portal this offseason, as reported by Jeff Goodman of "Stadium." That includes 155 graduate transfers.

"I believe it's OK to transfer. It's OK, just sit out a year," KU coach Bill Self said on a recent podcast. "I don't see the big deal about that at all."

He pointed out some possible negatives in allowing players to transfer without having to sit out a season's worth of games.

"Now there's going to be 2,500 to 3,000 kids transferring every year just in our sport and where do you draw the line? What's the drop-dead date you can transfer? Can you transfer the first day before classes? Can you just leave universities and programs high and dry because somebody else on another team transferred and a scholarship became open? (Coaches may say), 'We're just going to get this guy so he can transfer and fill that void,' " Self said.


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