The new rules, which take effect immediately, give any athlete wishing to use their one-time transfer to another institution without penalty 60 days from the day the NCAA Tournament field is selected to enter into the portal. Exceptions to this are players who have had athletic aid reduced, canceled, or not renewed, and players whose current school has undergone a head coaching change. Those players are able to enter the Transfer Portal at any time.
In addition to setting a firm window for the transfer process, the NCAA also mandated that when a player transfer to a new school, their athletic aid must be guaranteed through their graduation.
A separate proposal that would have allowed players to transfer multiple times without penalty was not adopted by the NCAA.
It will be interesting to see what changes, if any, these rules bring about. Both men’s and women’s ice hockey have seen a bevy of transfers in recent years, including 190 players transferring to a new school on the men’s side.
Granted, those numbers have been boostedby the NCAA deciding to give players an extra year of eligibility due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which affected roster size limits, and also by an influx of new D-1 programs that are looking for players.
Regardless of how the Transfer Portal continues to evolve and play a role in shaping the product we see on the ice, this NCAA at least appears to make sense and should help provide some clarity to the process going forward.