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September 27, 2021

How To Avoid Illegal Recruiting, for Transfer Athletes

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The game of transferring in college has certainly changed: with the introduction of the transfer portal and athletes no longer needing permission to transfer, athletes stand to gain more control of their futures. 

Beware: Don’t let the excitement keep you from playing on the field because you overlooked transfer rules. Here is your quick breakdown on entering the transfer portal and the rules that follow. 

Related: How To Avoid Illegal Recruiting for Coaches

Knowing the Basics

These are the most common facts you should know when thinking about transferring:

  1. All athletes across all sports are entitled to a one-time, no penalty transfer as long as that athlete is in good academic standing. This means no release or permission is required. 
    1. Athletes can enter the transfer portal where their schools will have two days to process the request. 
  2. Once an athlete enters the transfer portal, coaches may contact them but are prohibited in doing so when “Do Not Contact” is turned on.
    1.  “Do Not Contact” may be turned on if the athlete already has a school of choice, or simply wants control of their recruiting process.
    2. Schools are allowed to end financial aid at the end of the term during which the athlete enters the portal and are not required to renew if the athlete withdraws from the portal. 
  3. If an athlete is not in the portal, coaches are unable to respond or reach out to athletes from any NCAA or NAIA school.
    1. If this occurs, both the coach and athlete are subject to infraction penalties by the Committee on Infractions (CIO).
    2. COI punishments can include but are not limited to the vacation of records, suspensions, fines, and revocation of scholarship. 

Related: Why Athletes Must Know Their Rights before Transferring

The Transfer Portal VS Transfer Waivers

Transfer waivers used to be required for athletes in particular sports in order to compete without taking a year off after their transfer. 

This year the NCAA has updated its rules so that all athletes have one transfer without needing to sit out as long as they meet eligibility requirements. This includes transferring in conference and out.

Related: NCAA Transfer Portal and Transfer Waivers | What’s the Difference?

The rules are constantly updating. It is best for all athletes to check with compliance, with the NCAA online, and with their coaches to stay up-to-date on the transfer process.