When college student-athletes decide to transfer, they typically have to sit out one season before joining the team at their new school. There are exceptions, of course, but for the most part, that’s how the process works.
However, there could be a major change coming to the that transfer process.
According to Chris Vannini of The Athletic, the NCAA Transfer Working Group has been discussing allowing student-athletes a one-time transfer with immediate eligibility. Tampering by other schools would not be allowed, and it may be possible that it would only apply to freshmen and sophomores.
NCAA Transfer Working Group has been discussing allowing players a one-time transfer with immediately eligibility. There are academic standards, and no tampering. Possible it could only be for freshmen/sophomores. #AFCA2018
— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) January 9, 2018
Vannini reported that this wasn’t a proposal, but just an idea that was being discussed. He said that there are Group of 5 coaches who are concerned that Power 5 coaches would come after an underclassmen who had a big year.
Vannini also reports that there have been discussions about graduate transfers counting against a team’s roster for two years, depending on the grad program, but feedback on that idea has been mixed.
It would certainly be interesting to see if this potential change would increase the number of transfers. It seems that student-athletes could begin their careers at smaller schools, then move up to a bigger school after increasing their stock. That would definitely change the college sports landscape.