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NCAA Division I Council suggests pushing back transfer vote until Jan. 2021

Transfer athletes hoping to find immediate eligibility will have to wait a little bit longer for clarity. According to a release from the NCAA, the Division I Council has recommended pushing back a vote on the one-time transfer exemption.

Earlier reports suggested that a vote would take place on May 20; it was expected to pass, too. However, news today promotes a different tone. The Division I Council suggests moving the vote back to Jan 2021.

If passed, the initiative would allow athletes to compete immediately at a new school. This would apply to a player like former Duke wing Alex O’Connell, who transferred to Creighton this offseason. O’Connell has just one year remaining of eligibility, but isn’t a graduate transfer. Earlier this month, Syracuse landed Illinois transfer Alan Griffin, a rising junior with two years of eligibility left. He, too, could’ve benefitted from an updated rule.

Those are just a couple of conference-specific examples. In general, players like this — non-graduate transfers — must wait longer now. (There still exist possibilities that transfers could still look for other ways to obtain immediate eligibility via a waiver.) According to the NCAA:

While the group didn’t take a vote on the recommendations, it provided valuable feedback with regard to timing and uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also recommended the Division I Board of Directors lift the moratorium it placed on transfer legislation last fall in order for the Council to vote on the concept in January 2021.

Of smaller note: the DI Council did adopt legislation that will allow grad transfer to pursue/obtain a second undergraduate degree. On to this point, grad transfers were required to obtain a graduate degree at their next university. This is no longer the case, though.