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Immediate eligibility for NCAA transfers next season?

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Is transferring without a year-off penalty coming to college basketball?

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Iowa State vs Nevada James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

The “transfer epidemic” has been a hot-button topic in college sports circles. And a group of NCAA members have come up with a surprising solution.

Per 247 Sports, a Division I Transfer Working Group comprised of athletic directors, coaches, commissioners and players (19 in total) has worked on creating some uniformity in transfer rules... and decided free transfers might be the way to go.

Within recent weeks, it has become more clear that the latter option of immediate eligibility for transfers who achieve a minimum GPA [ed. note: and that additional transfers require sitting out a full year] is the one gaining traction amongst members. The proposal must be completed by Nov. 1. The members of the Transfer Working Group will continue to seek feedback from fellow coaches, directors, commissioners and student-athletes in the days ahead, but it is becoming more likely that the proposal will be voted upon next April with the possibility of this going into effect as early as the 2018-19 calendar. The uniformity of applying the same rules across all sports would potentially streamline the transfer process.

First - that is next year!

Second - this writer has long been a proponent of some level of freedom for players, for the rescinding of restrictions, and for a better student athlete experience. I've never been a big fan of the "every transfer needs to sit out a year" concept.

Important to this proposal is a sense of deadlines, as well. Can a player transfer in, say, late August when he realizes he wants to go to another school after summer practices?

Can a coach take his players with him to a new school?

With 351 Division I programs, there are low-major players who show their ability to be major conference contributors and there are high-major players who either are recruited over or bristle at the coaching. This could open up more movement for college basketball players, especially for struggling programs.

Talent will be consolidated at the top.

Or will it? Hot high schoolers who only need a year or two in college will continue to flock to the top programs, while the very good players will continue to distribute themselves.

Transfers will still happen for the same reasons, but now the players will be able to continue their progress on the court. (Imagine St. John’s this season with Mikey Dixon and Sedee Keita? Or last year with Justin Simon and Marvin Clark?)

Still, this could be a poor experience for the player, who will be fielding interest through back channels from coaches, and for the coaches, who have to constantly keep their players in the fold (while keeping an eye on the tweets of players who may be disgruntled).

One also wonders if some programs could have a secret “deal” with a player early in a season that the player can transfer in after the season - once a scholarship spot is open.

What do you think the benefits and pitfalls might be?