Beginning in October, Division I student-athletes will have the ability to transfer to a different school and receive a scholarship without asking their current school for permission.
Schools have drawn criticism for preventing a student-athlete from transferring to a program that better suits them, either academically or in their chosen sport.
Student athletes at the Division I level now have five years to play up to four seasons.
American Football Coaches Association executive director Todd Berry lobbied for the redshirt rule change for years and reiterated it had "unanimous" support from the coaches. Once the individual's name is in the database, coaches at other institutions have free reign to contact the student.
Virginia football coach Bronco Mendenhall has been an outspoken proponent of the NCAA changing its redshirt rules to allow younger players the chance to get some limited game experience without losing a full year of eligibility.
The previous rule required permission for the athletes to be able to contact another school to receive a scholarship after transferring. The new NCAA rule does not change the injury redshirt process.
Per NCAA.org's Michelle Brutlag Hosick, the Division I Council approved a new "notification-of-transfer " rule that requires schools to enter a student who wishes to transfer into the national transfer database.
As the attitudes toward the rights of student-athletes continue to loosen, these rules followed suit.
"This change promotes not only fairness for college athletes, but also their health and well-being", NCAA Division I Council chair and Miami athletic director Blake James said in a statement. "This will clean the process up and give more influence and flexibility to the student-athlete". The NCAA release does say, however, that conferences can still make rules within this process that are more restrictive than the national rule.
Berry was extremely optimistic about the proposal's chances following the AFCA Convention in January, was less positive in March and cautious in April, when the proposal was tabled over questions about timing, the number of games and potential application to other sports. Currently, a student's notification of intent to transfer at the end of a term is not a listed reason a school can use to cancel aid.
Previously, only players who did not play a snap in a season or were sidelined by injury before playing in more than four games were generally granted redshirts by the NCAA.
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