The proverbial free agent market of college athletics just became a lot more free.
The NCAA on Wednesday announced that it had approved a policy change that Division I student athletes would no longer need to request permission from their schools in order to transfer and receive a scholarship from another school. The new policy goes into effect this October.
Instead of asking permission to speak with other schools, as has been the law of the land, athletes are simply required to notify their current school of their desire to transfer. That school will now be required to enter the athlete’s name into a national database within two business days and other schools will be free to contact them. Read the NCAA policy in full here
This change has been widely expected to come for months. The other rule changed announced by the NCAA on Wednesday not so much.
Starting this season, Division I football players will be able to participate in four games and still be eligible to receive a redshirt. Athletes will still have five years to compete in four seasons, according to the NCAA announcement.
This policy change was first recommended by Todd Berry and the American Football Coaches Association in the spring of 2017, though the idea seemed to be dead on arrival when it went to the NCAA Division I Council.
LSU coach Ed Orgeron came out strongly in favor of the policy when Berry and the AFCA recommended it after their annual convention last spring.
“Love it,” Orgeron said when asked about an array of proposed rule changes in May of 2017. “That would be great. You can figure those guys out those (their) first four games. It adds to your roster, adds to your development of your team, add to your rotation.”
The new rule allows programs to put players in a live action environment before deciding on whether to redshirt them. For a program like LSU, that’d mean coaches have greater depth at their disposal when it comes to lopsided non-conference games.
“This is basketball on grass nowadays,” Orgeron said. “You’ve got some offenses out there trying to run 100 plays. The game is doubled since when we played. The more guys you can play, without burning a year, would be great.”