The NCAA Division I counsel has acted to formally adopt the highly anticipated proposal that modifies the requirements for an athlete to transfer and to eliminate the NCAA “Permission to Contact” process for Division I athletes. Currently, student-athletes must seek their current NCAA institution’s permission prior to engaging in recruiting contact and subsequently transferring to a different NCAA institution.

Effective in October 2018, the Division I Proposal 2017-108 amends Bylaw 13.1.1.3 as follows:

13.1.1.3.1 Notification of Transfer. A student-athlete may initiate the notification of transfer process by providing his or her   institution with a written notification of transfer at any time. The student-athlete’s institution shall enter his or her name information into the national transfer database within two business days of receipt of a written notification to transfer from the student-athlete.

Additionally, the proposal codifies severe penalties associated with an institution’s failure to abide by the new procedure.

The amendment’s goal is to reduce and effectively eliminate the interference and influence of coaches or university affiliates from other institutions encouraging student-athletes to transfer without having received permission to contact to do so.

Proposal 2017-108 now codifies a mandatory Level II violation for instances in which university employees tamper with student-athletes prior to the student-athlete clearing the notice of transfer process.

Adoption of the proposal has been received very favorably in the media, but the new system raises concerns with institutions. Division I members are still required to maintain adequate “Academic Performance Rate” scores in order to receive the opportunity for postseason access.

Student-athletes who transfer-out of Division I institutions without meeting specific academic performance benchmarks damage the institutional APR scores of their former school, and the new transfer system will force institutions to monitor student-athlete affairs closely with APR in mind.

Institutions will no longer have the option to decline permission to contact as a mechanism to deter transfers of student-athletes who do not meet APR retention point exceptions.

The notice of transfer system raises a number of unanswered questions that should be answered next fall. For more information about the proposal and institutional obligations and best practice related to implementation of the notice of transfer system, please contact Gregg Clifton or John G. Long at Jackson Lewis P.C.