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Transfer Waiver Delay Would Be Bad News For College Baseball

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There’s a strong chance the one-time transfer rule comes back to college baseball, but that time is unlikely to be late May when the Division I Council votes on the transfer waiver, as the NCAA Board of Directors on Thursday recommended against approving the measure.

“The board agrees to lift the moratorium on transfer legislation for the 2020-21 legislative cycle but commended against to the Council that changes to the waiver process as suggested by the working group are not appropriate at the time,” The NCAA’s release said. “Board members recommended the waiver process be sensitive to student-athlete well-being, especially those impacted by COVID-19 in the interim period.”

The push for a one-time transfer rule in baseball and other sports such as football, men’s and women’s basketball and men’s ice hockey, gained a lot of steam earlier this year when the Transfer Working Group recommended the implementation to the NCAA Division I Council and suggested an almost immediate vote. However, the coronavirus pandemic subsequently hit, and now, uncertainty and the financial statuses of athletic departments have become the primary concerns of athletic directors and other administrators — not items such as the one-time transfer waiver. Plus, some administrators would like to see a more comprehensive approach — addressing APR concerns and potentially adding a notification date for all transfers.

The Transfer Working Group recommended in early April that the D1 Council discuss the transfer waiver in late April with the hope that it would be voted on and approved on May 20. The Council did not vote on it, as expected, at the late April meeting, but did lift a moratorium on legislative changes tied to the transfer rule — though no changes could be voted in from a legislative standpoint until January 2021.

As it currently stands, the D1 Council is still expected to vote on the one-time transfer waiver at the May 20 meeting, but its passing is very much in doubt with the Board of Directors making it abundantly clear they’re opposed to it at the moment. And even if it passed the May 20 vote, the Council would then decide whether to implement the waiver immediately or delay it until 2021.

 

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