Division I transfer group considering eliminating permission to contact rules

AP Photo/Keith Srakocic
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A Division I working group that is currently evaluating changes to the NCAA’s transfer legislation is looking to hear from other members of the association in regards to potential changes that could be made to “improve the transfer environment for college athletes, coaches and teams.”

We’ve already written about some of these potential rule changes. One of the major talking points then involved graduate transfers. It’s not exactly a secret that high-major programs mine the smaller schools for players that have finished their degree with eligibility remaining, and one of the goals of this working group was to find a way to decentivize that method of program development.

Now, the topic has turned to permission to contact legislation.

The way the rules are currently structured, if a player wants to transfer he or she must receive permission from the current school to be contacted by the schools that he is interested in transferring to. If that doesn’t happen — if a school is ‘blocked’ — then the player will not be allowed to receive athletic aid if he or she makes the decision to enroll at that school. The Division I Student Athlete Advisory Committee is pushing to change that, to eliminate the tie between permission to contact and athletics aid.

Put simply, the working group is looking to survey administrators and coaches in an effort to determine whether or not players need to receive a release to be recruited as a transfer.

The major concern here would, of course, be the increase in potential tampering and ethical misconduct, but in college basketball, that kind of thing already exists en masse. That is never going to go away. As it stands, refusing to grant a player permission to contact to a school a coach believes tampered is the quickest way to get your name dragged through the headlines. When taking advantage of a rule is roundly criticized, that rule may not be one that makes much sense.