A Big Ten conference proposal could bring massive change to the college athletics landscape.
The conference quietly proposed legislation in October 2019 that would allow all student-athletes a one-time transfer without having to sit out a year, according to CBS Sports. This follows the same format as 20 NCAA sports, with only five requiring an athlete to sit a year after a transfer.
Under the current rules, student-athletes in football, men's and women's basketball, baseball and men's hockey must sit out a year after a transfer to another Division I program, unless they are granted a waiver from the NCAA or are a graduate transfer. The new proposal would essentially allow a one-time free agency period for every student-athlete.
“I’m also open now to being more accepting of the fact that we may get to a point where football and basketball has a one-time transfer exception,” Smith said. “It’s inevitable, in my view. And so, I know that that creates mass chaos to some people, and free agency, but the reality is, the waiver process, it’s a little clunky right now. And if that improves, maybe I’ll feel differently. But I’m really leaning heavily to the one-time transfer."
The NCAA Board of Directors is expected to gather additional data regarding the transfer process over the next year, and will consider plans including the one proposed by the Big Ten. The soonest new legislation could be adopted is 2021.