The NCAA are once again looking to change the college landscape.

The NCAA has been trying to improve the student-athletes position in the college system over the last five years. In 2018, the NCAA created the transfer portal, allowing student-athletes to transfer colleges without asking their college coach for permission (which previously they couldn’t do). The new transfer rule looks to give student-athlete transfer flexibility.

Old Rule: Student-athletes are able to transfer from a four-year college to another without any consequences. If a student-athlete transfers a second time, they will not be able to participate in college competitions immediately as sit-out penalties will be applied.

The Potential New Rule: Student-athletes may be allowed to transfer as many times as they wish without any sit-out penalties.

This rule could be seen to heavily favour student-athletes and increases their freedom in college. However, we have examined this rule objectively and provided some thoughts on both sides.


  • Reducing college selection pressure: If a student-athlete has transferred twice and still feels they have not found their perfect college, they can look to transfer again if they wish. This may reduce the pressure on student-athletes to make their college placement decision, knowing they can move on without penalties.
  • Improving sporting abilities: Four years is a long time, and over that course of time, many student-athletes improve their sporting abilities significantly. Student-athletes could transfer their way into a higher-level college, using their previous college as a stepping stone.
  • Recruiting for college coaches: An increase in student-athletes on the transfer portal results in more selection for college coaches. They have access to older and experienced student-athletes with a credible college background.


  • Student congestion: With transferring becoming significantly easier, this now creates congestion within the college system. An increase of student-athletes transferring with the same number of college programs is like trying to buy a house with a limited supply available. It will be very competitive, and college coaches will raise their recruiting standards.
  • Freshman Students: Student athletes coming out of high school will now have to work harder to get college opportunities. They will compete with highly experienced college athletes who carry more credibility, providing a safe investment for college coaches.


If this rule change happens, it will change the college recruiting landscape. Student-athletes will given much more control over their college experience. Whilst college coaches try to keep their student-athletes, they will not stop them from looking over the fence. With an increase in student-athletes transferring, college coaches will also raise their recruiting standards. The NCAA have a big decision to make, it will be very interesting to see which way they proceed.

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