NCAA changes redshirt rule eligibility

NCAA President Mark Emmert speaks during a news conference at the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament Thursday

NCAA President Mark Emmert speaks during a news conference at the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament Thursday

The NCAA announced Wednesday that players will be allowed to play in up to four games a season while still retaining their redshirt status. Instead of a student-athlete asking for permission to transfer from his or her school, the student-athlete will now simply inform the school of his or her decision to transfer.

The NCAA has approved a massive change to transfer rules as student-athletes will no longer be required to gain permission to contact schools once they decide to leave their current institution, essentially ending the practice of blocking transfers by schools.

The transfer working group initially was looking at uniform rules across all sports.

It will begin this fall, with the 2018 season, wiping away the need for schools to petition the NCAA for a medical redshirt if a player had already played in a game.

The previous transfer rule, which required student-athletes to get permission from their current school to contact another school before they can receive a scholarship after transfer, was meant to discourage coaches from recruiting student-athletes from other Division I schools.

"I think this new rule will be a great opportunity for a student-athlete and their overall college experience", Mendenhall said in a statement provided by a spokesman.

Conferences are still allowed to make rules that are more restrictive than the national rule.

The Transfer Working Group will continue working on other transfer issues, including rules surrounding postgraduate transfers, and still is exploring the possibility of uniform transfer rules.

"This creates a safe place for student-athletes to have a conversation with their coaches and makes the whole process more transparent", former Coastal Carolina football player Nicholas Clark said in the NCAA statement. "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.).

A new policy adopted this week by the NCAA will allow student-athletes playing football at the Football Bowl Subdivision and Football Championship Subdivision levels to play in four games in a season without using a season of competition. "This will clean the process up and give more influence and flexibility to the student-athlete". Within two days, the school must enter the athlete's name into a national transfer database.

The previous rule was scrutinized as transferring players were limited in what schools they were able to choose from after being blocked from specific programs.