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The NCAA approved changes to the DI transfer rule and football red-shirt restrictions

Well, it’s a start.

NCAA Football: Ohio State Spring Game Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA made some announcements on Wednesday about a few rule changes that will affect all DI athletics this fall including for the 2018 college football season. For the most part, they are welcome additions, including eliminating the need to get permission to transfer to a new school, and new rules for football players to claim a red-shirt season.

“Beginning in October, Division I student-athletes will have the ability to transfer to a different school and receive a scholarship without asking their current school for permission.” — NCAA

The Division I counsel agreed this week to allow students to transfer without having to get their current school’s permission. It’s important to note here that even though the NCAA is doing away with that provision, conferences still set their own requirements with regard to permission and the Big Ten could still require players to obtain it.

The new system, which will go into effect in October, requires the student looking to transfer to notify their current school and register into a national transfer database within two business days of their decision.

“This creates a safe place for student-athletes to have a conversation with their coaches and makes the whole process more transparent,” Nicholas Clark of the Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee on the Council said. “This will clean the process up and give more influence and flexibility to the student-athlete.”

In order to prevent schools tampering with potential transfers, the NCAA also upgraded tampering to the list of potential Level 2 violations, which is considered a “significant breach of conduct.”

“College athletes competing in Division I football can participate in up to four games in a season without using a season of competition, the Division I Council decided this week at its meeting in Indianapolis.” — NCAA

After initially being discussed at meetings in April, there were still concerns over exactly how many games and how much playing time would qualify under the new red shirt-rule for college football players. Now, players who have seen action in up to four games will still be eligible to claim a red-shirt versus losing out on a full year of eligibility.

One stipulation mandated since then is specifying that mid-year enrollees who participate in the postseason either “before or during the student-athlete’s first term at a school” are not eligible for this exception.

“This change promotes not only fairness for college athletes, but also their health and well-being. Redshirt football student-athletes are more likely to remain engaged with the team, and starters will be less likely to feel pressure to play through injuries,” Council chair Blake James, athletics director at Miami (Florida) said. “Coaches will appreciate the additional flexibility and ability to give younger players an opportunity to participate in limited competition.”

This is the first step for the NCAA to roll out new regulations for red-shirt opportunities and eligibility requirements for other sports as well.