Staff Opinion: Why changing the NCAA D1 transfer rule would hurt college sports

By Jamison White | March 19, 2018 1:19pm

Jamison White
by Brennan Robinson / The Beacon

The NCAA has a rule about transferring from one Division 1 school to another. The rule states that athletes must take a year off while attending their new schools. The athletes don’t not lose the year of eligibility as they are then classified as transfer redshirts. This rule has helped smaller schools like the University of Portland because it is partially in place to help deter kids from leaving programs. 

The rule is also in place to give transfer athletes time to get used to their new environments and schools. Athletes are afforded time as a student at the university before partaking in athletics. The rule has proven essential to college life for athletes, but some are talking about taking it away. This is a mistake.

Removing the rule would hurt small and large programs as it could create a type of super teams. And we have all seen how the forming of super teams has negatively affected the NBA. Super teams have made the league less competitive as certain teams stay at the top.  Let's take a deeper look at how doing away with the rule would affect teams.

For example, a player at a small school could play exceptionally well in their freshman season at a smaller Division 1 program, but the team could win very few games. A player who plays well may attract teams of a larger stature. If the team is in the WCC and does not perform well, the player may receive an offer from a PAC-12 school to transfer and play for the bigger and usually more competitive program. As of right now, the player would have to go a year off from their sport as a transfer redshirt when transferring and that may deter a player from transferring. 

If no rule stops the player from sitting out a year, then a struggling program loses its best player, and the program worsens. This even affects recruiting as not many top athletes want to join a losing, lower Division 1 team.

Removing the rule can also hurt bigger programs that struggle. Without the rule, nothing would stop a successful program from poaching a top athlete on a struggling PAC-12 team. 

The college football world is already tired of seeing Alabama in the championship every year, somewhat like the Patriots reaching the Super Bowl every year. This will continue to happen if the transfer rule is done away with.

The NCAA will continue to be run by certain programs if this rule is abolished. This is the reason that throwing away this rule is bad for the NCAA as programs will face unfair competition while continually losing their best players.

Jamison White is a sophomore marketing major. He can be reached at

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