Sports Law Blog
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Monday, March 20, 2006
One-Time Transfer Exception
NCAA By-law 126.96.36.199.10 is known as the One-Time Transfer Exception. This by-law permits a student-athlete at a four-year college or university to transfer to another four-year college or university without being required to sit out a year in his or her sport.
There are certain requirements for this exception to apply. Specifically, the exception can only be used once for an athlete, the athlete must be in good academic standing and meet certain progress towards degree requirements, and the institution from which the athlete is transferring must state in writing that it has no objection to the waiver (often referred to as a "release").
In addition, the student-athlete may not be a participant in basketball (men's or women's), men's ice hockey or Division I-A football at the institution to which the student-athlete is transferring. In other words, the exception does not apply for football, basketball and men's hockey players. These student-athletes are generally required to sit out a year. The reason for this is that participants in these sports traditionally do not do as well academically as other student-athletes, as measured by graduation rates. There have been recent proposals to extend the transfer exception to these sports, but they always seem to get shot down.
Another proposal has been brought up recently to eliminate the exception for baseball student-athletes. This proposal has evidently been through the management council twice, being opposed both times, but will be looked at again in April. I spoke to an NCAA representative today, who believes the chance of this proposal passing is unlikely. The proposal keeps popping up, though, because there is a higher transfer rate in baseball than in most other sports, and many in the baseball community believe the ease of movement in baseball contributes to a lack of academic success.
I am interested to hear (1) whether anyone has heard anything else about the exception being eliminated for baseball, and (2) whether people believe it should be eliminated in baseball, or other sports for that matter.
If the baseball proposal goes into effect, the effective date would not likely be until at least August 1, 2006, so I would expect an increased amount of transfers this summer (assuming that the athletes can get their coaches to give them their releases).