The ACC announced Monday that it supports a proposal from the Big Ten that would allow undergraduate student athletes in all sports to transfer once without sitting out of competition for one year. The current rule mandates that undergraduate transfers in football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, baseball and hockey must receive a waiver from the NCAA to be eligible immediately. Players in the remaining sports are allowed to transfer without sitting out.
“During the league’s annual winter meetings (February 12-14), the ACC discussed the transfer environment and unanimously concluded that as a matter of principle we support a one-time transfer opportunity for all student-athletes regardless of sport,” the conference said in a statement. “As a conference, we look forward to continuing the discussion nationally.”
The statement comes three weeks after news broke that the Big Ten.
“I think it’s the right thing to do,” Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel told CBS Sports. “I don’t know who’s going to freak out and who’s not going to freak out. That doesn’t come into my thinking about it.”
It’s the latest in a concerted effort by the conferences and the NCAA to provide more structure to the rising trend of players transferring within FBS. The transfer portal was instituted in fall 2018 which allows players to input their names into a database that allows opposing coaches to contact them about potential opportunities within other programs.
“We have five sports that are not allowed to transfer in this day and age. That is something we need to fix,” Manuel said. “We need to give all young people flexibility to transfer once. If they transfer a second time, there is no waiver.”
The process became murky last offseason when high-profile quarterbacks Justin Fields transferred from Georgia to Ohio State after one season and Tate Martell moved from Ohio State to Miami as a result of Fields’ presence in Columbus, Ohio. Both players surprisingly received immediate eligibility waivers from the NCAA.
CBS Sports reported last month that the NCAA will not hear transfer-related proposals during the 2019-20 academic year