The NCAA Division I Council approved legislation on Wednesday to limit waivers for second-time transfers. Now, undergraduate players who transfer will have specific guidelines they must meet in order to be eligible for immediate playing time starting with the 2023-24 season or risk sitting out a year in between transfers.
First, a player can receive immediate eligibility if they have a physical injury or mental health condition that pushed them to transfer from a school. Additionally, the NCAA will consider "exigent circumstances" that could force a player to leave an institution -- like sexual assault or abuse. No other factors will be considered, including academic considerations or playing time.
The new rules are an attempt to rein in the number of players using transfer portal, which has exploded since it launched four years ago. Nearly 2,000 players in FBS alone entered the portal in the first transfer window following the 2022 regular season. At least 120 quarterbacks alone have entered the portal, including a handful that were expected to enter the 2023 NFL Draft and opted for new starts at the college level instead.
Notably, Rice quarterback JT Daniels just landed at his fourth institution after leaving West Virginia. He played at USC from 2018-19 and Georgia from 2020-21 before starting for the Mountaineers in 2022. With these rules, Daniels would need to graduate in between each of his final two transfers or sit out and risk burning a year of eligibility.
The new NCAA rule only applies to undergraduate transfers. Players who graduate will still be eligible to play immediately at their next stops.