In some positive news for college student-athletes, the NCAA has announced some modification to their transfer rules. The most specific part of the modified transfer waiver guidelines is when it relates to students requesting a transfer to move closer to home in order to be with an ill parent or family member.
If a student-athlete requests a transfer for illness/injury to a family member, they will be considered for immediate eligibility under the following circumstances:
- The school presents medical documentation of a debilitating injury or illness to a student-athlete’s immediate family member that is debilitating and requires ongoing medical care. The previous standard had been “life-threatening.”
- The student-athlete demonstrates he or she will be responsible for regular, ongoing caregiving responsibilities. The previous standard required the student-athlete to be the primary, day-to-day caregiver.
- The school is within a 100-mile radius of the immediate family member’s home, which demonstrates the ability for the student-athlete to provide regular, ongoing care. Previously, no distance limitation was in place.
- The school to which the student-athlete is transferring must submit a statement from the athletics director and faculty athletics representative confirming that the student-athlete will be relieved of responsibilities to the team in order to care for the injured or ill family member, and that the coaching staff will support such a departure.
It is a long overdue modification from the NCAA and it is a major improvement from the previous policies. Unfortunately, there is still some power in the programs hands and they can control the student-athlete.
However, if the student-athlete is playing for a coach with a good heart, their transfer requests can be met and they can continue to perform without losing any eligibility.