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NCAA changes transfer guidelines to limit waivers

Since the Longhorns don’t take many transfers, the new guidelines won’t likely have much impact on head coach Tom Herman’s program.

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NCAA Announces Corrective and Punitive Measures for Penn State Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

A year after expanding the waiver guidelines to include “documented mitigating circumstances outside of the student-athlete’s control” that “directly impacts the health, safety or well-being of the student-athlete,” the NCAA reportedly added new language expected to reduce the number of waivers granted to college football and basketball players, according to a report from USA TODAY Sports.

Following an increase in waiver applications and complaints of inconsistent applications of the 2018 guidelines, the NCAA is now providing more details about the required documentation and more specific guidelines for which applications will qualify.

Much of the language from the 2018 update remains, with two key additions — the new guidelines require “documented extraordinary, extenuating, and mitigating circumstances.”

Here’s another key change:

In cases where an athlete was run off by a coach or essentially had their scholarship pulled for non-disciplinary reasons, the NCAA will require a written statement from the athletics director at the previous school stating whether the athlete would not have had an opportunity to return to the team and why the athlete is transferring. The committee is being instructed to deny cases where the athlete can’t document that they’ve been run off. That marks a change from prior protocol, where a key determining factor in “run off” situations was whether the previous school objected to the waiver request.

Other language clarifies waiver guidelines for student-athletes who are victims of a variety of abusive and discriminatory behavior, as well as requiring treatment plans for transfers who return to within a 100-mile radius of their home to take on caregiving responsibilities.

However, the changes likely won’t have a significant negative impact on Texas — Bru McCoy is the only transfer taken by head coach Tom Herman since taking over the program roughly two and a half years ago. When Jordan Moore, the twin brother of sophomore wide receiver Joshua Moore, entered the transfer portal last winter, he expressed interest in the Horns, but ultimately landed at Houston. The Longhorns have taken graduate transfers each year under Herman, but those players don’t have to go through the waiver process.

So unless Herman and his staff change their philosophy about multi-year transfers, the new guidelines may simply discourage potential transfers now less likely to receive a waiver.