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College Basketball

Uncertainty over Future of Transfer Rule Continues



A proposal by the Big Ten Conference to allow a one-time, penalty-free transfer for all NCAA student athletes has been gaining traction, but according to a report by Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, even if it passes, it won’t go into effect until 2021.

The Big Ten proposal was backed by the schools of the Atlantic Coast Conference after the ACC’s winter meetings in February. Those two conferences voting en masse would provide 44% of the autonomy conference vote alone, making it seem likely that the measure is headed toward being passed when taken up.

“The current system is unsustainable. Working group members believe it’s time to bring our transfer rules more in line with today’s college landscape,” NCAA working group chair and MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said in a February press release. “This concept provides a uniform approach that is understandable, predictable and objective. Most importantly, it benefits students.”

That vote was originally scheduled to occur in April, but now is expected to happen in June, and according to Rothstein, even if it passes, won’t go into effect until 2021.

That leaves the hundreds of players currently in the NCAA transfer portal in a tight spot. They’ll still be able to apply for a waiver, but many players and coaches have been operating under the hopes that they would be automatically eligible this fall.

For Pitt basketball, it could affect how Jeff Capel and his staff tackle the remainder of the Class of 2020 recruitment. Pitt has been involved with Rice transfer Trey Murphy III, but as a sophomore, he would need the measure to be implemented this offseason or a waiver to be able to play for Pitt in 2020-21.

Will Capel want to go another season without his full complement of scholarship players after going through the 2019-20 season with just 10 of the allowable 13 available to him?
Might that instead make him more likely to pursue two of the freshmen that are still interested in?

As with many things during these unprecedented times, it seems that the coaches and players have been left with more questions than answers for the time being.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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