With growing concerns over how the transfer waiver process is likely inspiring an increasing number of players to transfer and seek immediate eligibility around college football, the NCAA is in the early stages of reviewing the guidelines.
As announced by the NCAA on Thursday afternoon, a recommendation from the Division I Transfer Working Group to the Committee of Legislative Relief has begun the process of reviewing the transfer waiver guidelines. This comes as a high percentage of waiver requests being filed to the NCAA have been approved to allow players to be eligible to play this fall rather than sit out a year before being ruled eligible to play again.
“The Committee for Legislative Relief is reviewing current transfer waiver guidelines to make sure they are in line with the membership’s expectations,” Kaity McKittrick, deputy athletics director and senior woman administrator at Lafayette, said in a released statement. “We do believe attention on a small number of high-profile requests can skew perceptions of the scope of staff and committee review. Each waiver request is reviewed individually, as they each present a unique fact pattern and almost always confidential information of the student. Our committee and the staff operate with the membership’s guidelines in mind, and are not driven by a specific approval percentage.”
Before you go panicking that a player transferring to your favorite school this might suddenly be in jeopardy of having a waiver approved, relax. Any changes to the NCAA rules and guidelines would not take effect until the next academic year at the earliest, and it is still possible any potential changes could be at least another year or so away from coming to fruition anyway. This could still be a topic of conversation that is starting now but requires more time to determine if there is a need to change the guidelines at all.
Because the conversation seems to have shifted toward now being the dawn of college football free agency, the NCAA is forced to respond to ensure the integrity of the transfer process is not getting out of control. Maybe it has. It will be up to the NCAA to determine if this new waiver policy and the benefits to the student-athlete is worth protecting or if a need to put a foot down is necessary.