By Lance Tominaga, ESPN Honolulu Web Editor.
The door for NCAA student-athletes to freely transfer to another school just opened a bit wider.
Yesterday, the Big West Conference announced that, effective immediately, it has eliminated the league’s intraconference transfer policy for student-athletes. The decision came after a unanimous vote of the Big West Board of Directors.
“We commend the Big West Board of Directors for acting in the best interests of Big West student-athletes,” Big West Commissioner Dan Butterly said in an official statement. “Along with the NCAA DI Board of Directors passing a uniform one-time transfer exception in all sports, this decision provides greater flexibility for our student-athletes.”
Also in the statement: “Permitting transfers to compete immediately aligns with our commitment to creating a holistic student-athlete experience,” said Chair of the Big West Board of Directors and University of California, Irvine Chancellor Howard Gillman. “We’re pleased that we will now offer our student-athletes the same opportunities afforded any other student who wishes to transfer.”
The change rescinds a previous provision in the Big West bylaws requiring student-athletes who transferred within the conference in a Big West-sponsored sport to fulfill a residence requirement of one academic year before becoming eligible. As of today, to give a pair of examples, a student-athlete from Long Beach State may transfer to Cal State Fullerton, and a student-athlete from Cal State Bakersfield may transfer to the University of Hawaii – ol without having to first sit out a year.
# # #