Sixty-eight percent of all D1 student-athletes can transfer without penalty. The NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee wants to turn that number to 100 percent.
On Tuesday, the NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee issued an opinion statement recommending changes to the current transfer eligibility rule. Back in February, the Transfer Waiver Working Group introduced a concept that would change waiver criteria to allow approvals for first-time four-year transfers in all sports to compete immediately if they:
The group’s goal was to have the new criteria approved for transfers in the 2020-21 academic year after seeking feedback from Division 1 members through their student-athlete representatives, conference offices, and the like. Well, below is the NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee’s statement in regard to the proposed changes.
“Over the years, Division I SAAC has continued to provide feedback on the NCAA’s transfer landscape and how to improve the experience for all 170,000 of our peers. We have engaged in discussions with multiple transfer-focused working groups, which have offered piecemeal reform to the Division I transfer environment. Up until now, no reform has successfully addressed the underlying transfer eligibility rule that continues to treat roughly 52,300, or 32%, of Division I student-athletes differently. It is hard to reconcile why a Football, Men’s Basketball, Women’s Basketball, Baseball or Men’s Ice Hockey student-athlete would have to justify why they want to transfer from one school to another school and be immediately eligible when the other 68% of student-athletes have the liberty to transfer without having to sit out of competition for a year. Every student-athlete should be able to transfer once with no requirement of sitting out, so long as they’re academically eligible to compete at their second institution. We represent all 100% of Division I student-athletes. It is our responsibility to advocate for every one of our peers and for the Association to do the right thing and prioritize student-athlete welfare.
“As collegiate student-athletes, we are first and foremost students. Student-athlete graduation rates are at an all-time high, and we continue to rise to academic challenges. Nearly 9 out of every 10 of us earn our college degrees. Of the 90% of us who earn our college degrees, Men’s Ice Hockey players have a 92% graduation rate, Women’s Basketball players have a 91% graduation rate, Baseball players have an 84% graduation rate, Men’s Basketball players have an 83% graduation rate, and Football players have an 82% graduation rate. The original purpose of the transfer rule was to address low graduation and high transfer rates in those five sports; however, recent data clearly shows that those student-athletes have risen to the occasion and that logic is no longer sound. Moreover, while SAAC acknowledges that academics is vital to the success of student-athletes, we also recognize that any additional academic criteria outside the parameters of current legislation should not adversely affect any racial, socioeconomic, or gender demographic.
“Student-athletes have always had a variety of personal reasons for transferring. We would also be remiss to not acknowledge the current timing of the application of this concept with the various financial and personal hardships student-athletes and their families currently and will continue to face for years due to COVID-19. Student-athletes’ identities are strongly tied to their sport. Allowing for student-athletes to feel whole upon transfer is critical to their overall college experience. Sports are the very activity that help ground student-athletes in college, and during a time of much uncertainty and emotional hardship, it is important now more than ever to allow all student-athletes the ability to compete in their sport after making the best decision for them and their families.
— The 1975 (@the1975) May 18, 2020
— The 1975 (@the1975) May 18, 2020
Santiago Leon is the Founder and CEO of the Sports Cast. He covers almost every sport: NFL, NBA, and world soccer. He’s also founder of sleon productions, which he specializes in technology and serves clients with solutions to make their business grow.