NCAA softening transfer rules

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"This change promotes not only fairness for college athletes, but also their health and well-being", NCAA Division I Council chair and Miami athletic director Blake James said in a statement. "Coaches will appreciate the additional flexibility and ability to give younger players an opportunity to participate in limited competition".

The executive director of the American Football Coaches Association and former Louisiana-Monroe head coach had been pushing for almost two decades to change the NCAA's rules regarding redshirts.

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. Conferences, however, can still put rules in play that forbid student-athletes from transferring within the conference without sitting out a year or some other stipulation.

Also big? A so-called "redshirt rule" that would allow players to play in any four games during a season and still maintain a full season eligibility (they would still have five years to play four seasons).

The Division I Council officially approved a new rule on Wednesday that will eliminate the permission-to-contact process when a student-athlete transfers programs.

"The Division I Council adopted a proposal this week that creates a new "notification-of-transfer" model", the NCAA writes.

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"Redshirt football student-athletes are more likely to remain engaged with the team, and starters will be less likely to feel pressured to play through the injuries". The new rule will allow football players to not use up a season if they play in a small number of games due to an injury or other possible situations.

"This creates a safe place for student-athletes to have a conversation with their coaches and makes the whole process more transparent", Clark said.

The previous rule required permission for the athletes to be able to contact another school to receive a scholarship after transferring. This is only one step removed from the most serious infraction, a Level 1 violation.

If a student enrolls midyear and plays in a postseason football game before or during their first term, the new rule does not apply. Within two days, the school must enter the athlete's name into a national transfer database. The so-called autonomy conferences will consider two different proposals to allow schools to cancel the aid.

Previously, a player would be ineligible to redshirt if they played as little as one play in one game.

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