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New NCAA ‘Notice to Transfer’ Model Replaces Controversial Permission to Contact Rule

The NCAA Division I counsel has acted to formally adopt the highly anticipated proposal that modifies the requirements for an athlete to transfer and to eliminate the NCAA “Permission to Contact” process for Division I athletes. Currently, student-athletes must seek their current NCAA institution’s permission prior to engaging in recruiting contact and subsequently transferring to a different NCAA institution.

Effective in October 2018, the Division I Proposal 2017-108 amends Bylaw 13.1.1.3 as follows:

13.1.1.3.1 Notification of Transfer. A student-athlete may initiate the notification of transfer process by providing his or her institution with a written notification of transfer at any time. The student-athlete’s institution shall enter his or her name information into the national transfer database within two business days of receipt of a written notification to transfer from the student-athlete.

Additionally, the proposal codifies severe penalties associated with an institution’s failure to abide by the new procedure.

The amendment’s goal is to reduce and effectively eliminate the interference and influence of coaches or university affiliates from other institutions encouraging student-athletes to transfer without having received permission to contact to do so.

Proposal 2017-108 now codifies a mandatory Level II violation for instances in which university employees tamper with student-athletes prior to the student-athlete clearing the notice of transfer process.

Adoption of the proposal has been received very favorably in the media, but the new system raises concerns with institutions. Division I members are still required to maintain adequate “Academic Performance Rate” scores in order to receive the opportunity for postseason access.

Student-athletes who transfer-out of Division I institutions without meeting specific academic performance benchmarks damage the institutional APR scores of their former school, and the new transfer system will force institutions to monitor student-athlete affairs closely with APR in mind.

Institutions will no longer have the option to decline permission to contact as a mechanism to deter transfers of student-athletes who do not meet APR retention point exceptions.

The notice of transfer system raises a number of unanswered questions that should be answered next fall.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2018

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About this Author

Gregg E. Clifton, Collegiate Sports Attorney, Jackson Lewis, disciplinary hearings Lawyer
Office Managing Principal

Gregg E. Clifton is Office Managing Principal of the Phoenix, Arizona, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He is Co-Leader of the Collegiate and Professional Sports Practice Group and serves as one of the editors of the firm’s sports law blog.

Mr. Clifton has extensive experience in the collegiate and professional sports world. He has advised numerous professional franchises on general labor and employment issues, including Title III ADA regulatory compliance and wage and hour issues. He serves as lead counsel for several Major...

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John Long, NCAA Lawyer, Dallas Office of Jackson Lewis Law Firm
Of Counsel

John G. Long is Of Counsel in the Dallas, Texas, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has more than eight years of experience in collegiate sports law as a former university NCAA compliance officer and private practitioner.

Mr. Long counsels institutions, coaches and athletes in a broad range of collegiate sports law matters, including those involving NCAA compliance, the NCAA Academic Performance Program (APP) and Title IX. Mr. Long conducts complex investigations on behalf of universities. Mr. Long represents Division I institutions before the Committee on Infractions and performs proactive services to assist colleges and universities with NCAA compliance. In addition, Mr. Long conducts Title IX compliance reviews and counsels institutions in Office for Civil Rights compliance investigations. 

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