Division I Baseball student athletes who want to transfer will now have transfer windows in which they can do so, the NCAA Division I Board of Directors announced on Wednesday. The rules changes are effective immediately.
Previously, student athletes playing spring sports could enter the portal anytime they wanted in the fall or spring, provided they enter the portal by a July 1 deadline. Now, the NCAA has added a pair of transfer windows with some caveats.
“The decision to adopt the transfer proposal today reflects the Board’s commitment to enacting transformational changes in college sports,” said Jere Morehead, president at University of Georgia and chair of the Board of Directors.
The first window is a bit different from what was originally proposed. The NCAA Rules Oversight Panel initially proposed a 60-day notice period from the time postseason selections are made. However, the Directors approved a window that is 45 days from the day postseason selections are made in baseball. Therefore, for instance, in 2023, athletes will have 45 days after May 29 to enter the portal.
The deadline to enter your transfer paperwork in 2023 will be July 13 for the first window.
The second window for spring student-athletes will be December 1-15. An important clarifier for this window as it pertains to baseball is that it changes nothing about the prohibition on mid-year transfers. Unlike softball, baseball players entering the portal during this period still must sit out until the next baseball season and would not be permitted to play during the upcoming season.
There are important exceptions to these windows. Those exceptions include head coaching changes, and having athletic aid reduced, canceled or not renewed.
The new transfer windows are unlikely to have a massive effect in Division I Baseball. Coaches previously had an issue with the transfer deadline being July 1, which is the scholarship renewal date. That date, they said, was too far in advance of the July 17-19 Major League Baseball draft. In essence, they still had no idea which high school signees they might lose to the draft, thus making final roster decisions difficult. The new window with a deadline of July 13 still doesn’t provide complete clarity as it pertains to the draft, and coaches undoubtedly will continue to push for baseball to have a different deadline than other spring sports that do not have a draft in the middle of the summer.
Two other interesting items were on the table on Tuesday: First, the Board of Directors guaranteed that student-athletes that transfer to a new school would have their financial aid guaranteed at said new school through their graduate date. Second, in not so surprising news, the Directors kicked the can down the road on allowing unlimited transfers. That possibility has been a hot button topic across all sports over the past few months, and for good reason. The NCAA would like more data on graduation rates and more before making a final decision on unlimited transfers.
“Like their peers in the general student population, college athletes choose to transfer for any number of reasons,” Morehead said. “We believe the changes enacted today enable member schools to adapt to students’ needs, while also positioning students for long-term academic success. These changes to NCAA rules recognize further study is needed on graduation rates before we consider authorizing multiple transfer opportunities with immediate eligibility. We will continue to review potential modifications to transfer rules as the landscape evolves over time.”
We will continue to monitor changes to the transfer portal procedures moving forward. Over the past year, more than 2,500 student-athletes entered the Transfer Portal in Division I Baseball. You can see every name in the portal, here.
All eyes now turn to the Transformation Committee, where there’s a groundswell of momentum of make baseball and other sports be allowed to have more/unlimited assistant coaches — all dictated by individual conferences. There’s also more optimism on eventually increasing scholarships in Division I Baseball.