NCAA agrees to end transfer rules permanently; athletes who lost eligibility will have year restored

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday that it has reached an agreement with the NCAA that will permanently prohibit the organization from restricting athletes’ transfer eligibility.

The settlement ends a federal antitrust lawsuit filed by a coalition of states last December challenging the NCAA’s requirement that athletes who transfer more than once sit out a year of competition. U.S. District Court Judge John Preston Bailey in West Virginia issued a preliminary injunction at the time barring the NCAA from enforcing its transfer eligibility rule. The DOJ joined the suit in January.

A consent decree announced Thursday makes this policy change permanent, allowing athletes to transfer an unlimited number of times without penalty. It also requires the NCAA to reinstate a year of eligibility for current athletes who missed a year of competition since 2019-20 due to the old policy.


How the Era of Unlimited Free Transfers Works in College Football

“Freed from anticompetitive rules that unfairly limit their mobility, Division I college athletes will now be able to choose institutions that best meet their academic, personal, and professional development needs,” said Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter of the Antitrust Division of the Ministry of Justice. A declaration.

“We have leveled the playing field for college athletes to give them more control over their destinies,” said Ohio AG Dave Yost, who filed the lawsuit. “This long-term change is exactly what we wanted to accomplish. »

As required by the Tunney Act, a 60-day public comment period will begin, after which the court may enter the settlement as a final judgment.

Last week, the NCAA and Power 5 conferences agreed to a settlement in another anti-rust case, House v. NCAA, in which defendants would pay $2.7 billion in back pay to a class of athletes alleging they were denied compensation for use of their names. , image and likeness. This settlement must still be approved by a judge in Northern California.

(Photo: Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

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