After the NCAA passed a new constitution in January, a transformation committee was formed to rethink — and hopefully modernize — Division I.
One of the committee’s first recommendations, released in July, was allowing athletes to transfer as many times as they wanted without penalty — eliminating the “one-time” transfer rule. The Division I Council endorsed the idea.
But it’s now “unlikely” to pass in an upcoming D-I Board of Directors meeting, according to a report in The Athletic.
- The combination of the one-time transfer rule and new NIL opportunities has already created an environment that many coaches have complained allows for unfair recruiting “bidding wars.”
- Giving players the option to transfer an unlimited number of times, however, would make the recruiting market even more unmanageable, coaches have reportedly said.
- It would have precipitated a landscape that many likened to “free agency” in college football and basketball.
Continuing to cap transfers would be another example of how administrators are ultimately incapable of relinquishing control.
The NCAA would be leaving a restriction that the rest of the student body doesn’t have — going against its long-held belief that athletes are “amateurs,” just like other students.
It also suggests the governing body is prioritizing the needs of athletic department officials over athletes themselves. “Free agency,” after all, is a much bigger negative for coaches than players.
An ESPN survey found that while 70% of administrators thought existing transfer freedoms were bad for college football, for example, only 31% of athletes felt the same.