Many people were perplexed by Alabama QB Blake Barnett’s decision to transfer in the middle of the season, but he apparently made his decision to exploit a little-known NCAA rule.
According to AL.com’s Matt Zenitz, Barnett decided to transfer now because of NCAA Bylaw 14.5.6, which could allow him to be eligible to play for another FBS program after Week 4 of the 2017 season instead of sitting out all of next year.
The rule could allow a player to become eligible at another FBS school one calendar year after transferring from his first school, provided that the player first transfers to a junior college and completes an average of 12 hours of transferrable credit hours per term with at least a 2.5 GPA.
Barnett reportedly plans to transfer to a JUCO immediately to finish this season. According to the rule, he could then transfer to another FBS program after the spring semester and would only be required to sit out the first four games of next season. Normally, under NCAA transfer rules, he would have to sit out a full season before becoming eligible to play at the FBS level again.
Barnett was beat out by true freshman QB Jalen Hurts for the starting job at Alabama this season. Barnett was a 5-star recruit, the No. 2 pro-style quarterback and the No. 21 player nationally in the 2015 class.
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