The NCAA Division I Council approved the change Wednesday.
The new "notification-of-transfer" model will take effect on October 15, 2018. But it wasn't until Tuesday's announcement that the transfer dynamic truly changed. That rule was meant to stop DI coaches from recruiting athletes from other DI schools. Instead of a student-athlete asking for permission to transfer from his or her school, the student-athlete will now simply inform the school of his or her decision to transfer. A school interested in recruiting a transferring player also must ask the current school for permission to recruit.
Additionally, in the next week or so, legislation regarding financial aid could be modified.
"The change promotes not only fairness for college athletes, but also their health and well-being", said Miami (Florida) athletic director Blake James, who doubles as the chair of the Division I council.
To address one specific concern, the Council specified that midyear enrollees can not use the exception to play a bowl game before their first academic term. When defensive tackle Antwuan Jackson chose to transfer from Auburn after the 2016 season, Jackson said that Auburn would block him from transferring to another SEC school, Ohio State, Clemson or Georgia.
If, for example, a coach needs to dip into his depth chart at the end of the season, he can do so without burning a freshman's redshirt.
As we've seen in recent weeks with the SEC voting to allow inter-conference graduate transfers, the Power Five conferences can implement their own nuances to a national rule.
Early playing time won't be kept just to the above group, of course, as the rest of the signees arrive soon, and the days of a player working his way into near playing status without playing due to outdated rules are over, meaning many first-year players could get some run this fall.
"The membership showed today that it supports this significant change in transfer rules", Sell said.
Schools have drawn criticism for preventing a student-athlete from transferring to a program that better suits them, either academically or in their chosen sport.
Before, playing one snap of Division I football would have claimed a season of eligibility. More often than not, it limited players from speaking to other schools in the same conference or on future schedules. That idea has fallen off the table amid concerns about creating an inequitable system that could face legal challenges. The autonomy conferences will consider, by an electronic vote, two different proposals to allow schools to cancel the aid.
The transfer working group initially was looking at uniform rules across all sports.