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NCAA Division I Council updates portal waiver guidelines for second-time transfers

Barkley-Truaxby:Barkley Truax01/11/23


The NCAA Division I Council announced adjustments to rules pertaining to the transfer portal Wednesday, specifically toward second-time transfers. The approved guidelines will make it tougher for players to become immediately eligible after they enter the portal for a second time.

Each portal waiver will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and must meet at least one of the following:

  • A demonstrated physical injury or illness or mental health condition that necessitated the student’s transfer (supporting documentation, care plans and proximity of the student’s support system will be considered), or
  • Exigent circumstances that clearly necessitate a student-athlete’s immediate departure from the previous school (e.g., physical assault or abuse, sexual assault) unrelated to the student-athlete’s athletics participation.

Reasons for transferring pertaining to lack of playing time, position preference and academics are all examples of situations that do not warrant waiver relief.

For both first and second-time transfers, if the player’s reason for transferring involves the discontinuation of their school’s sport or a non-scholarship exception, those athletes will be allowed to enter the portal at any time instead of being required the enter during their respective sports transfer window.

“The Council’s actions today for coaching limits reflect the ongoing efforts within Division I to modernize NCAA rules,” said Lynda Tealer, executive associate athletics director at Florida and chair of the Division I Council, via the NCAA’s release. “These changes will ease the burden on campus compliance staffs and increase the number of coaches who can assist with recruiting activities.”

These rules will be set into place for every sport beginning in their respective 2023-2024 seasons. Guidelines currently in place will no longer be used to grant waiver requests, and every player’s situation will be evaluated individually.