Last week, the NCAA's Division I Council passed a landmark rule that removed coaches' and schools' ability to limit where their players can transfer and still receive financial aid. The new rule allows players to transfer wherever they want -- Ohio State to Michigan, Alabama to Auburn -- and receive immediate financial aid at their new school, regardless of their current coach's thoughts.
On Tuesday, the Power 5 conferences passed a countermeasure.
Once a player notifies his current school of his intent to transfer, schools can now cancel the scholarship of said player at the end of that academic term. The rule, which had the support of the Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, is intended to provide accountability for players, discouraging them from dipping their toes in the transfer waters without a serious intent to actually transfer.
“In fairness to the transfer student-athlete’s teammates, coaching staff and overall team dynamic, the Division I SAAC felt that a student-athlete should not be able to give notification, search for other opportunities, then return to their institution if dissatisfied with their options with no repercussions,” SAAC chairman and former Missouri-Kansas City basketball player Noah Knight said in a statement.
The new rule has to be followed by the Power 5 schools and can be followed by the rest of Division I, if they so choose. (The NCAA rep I spoke with wasn't sure if such decisions would be made on a school-by-school or conference-by-conference basis.)
Under the new rule, schools can cancel the aid of the player as soon as he or she provides their notice, but the reduction or cancellation cannot go into effect until the end of the term. If the player returns to school, said school will still be allowed to re-award the scholarship to that player at the end of the term if they so choose, but they will no longer be required to do so.