NCAA Division I Council approves waiver to help college football teams replace transfers

To address the growing number of transfers, the NCAA Division I Council on Tuesday approved a one-year waiver, allowing college football teams to enroll up to seven players to replace those who leave.

Under current NCAA rules, a team cannot enroll more than 25 players for a scholarship in a year. That includes incoming high school prospects and college transfers. The waiver will allow teams to sign 25 players, plus as many as seven transfers — no high school players — to replace those who transfer in the first term.

Football players will still not be able to transfer during the season and be eligible to join their new schools.

With the easing of transfer rules allowing more players to switch teams, coupled with the bonus year awarded to athletes who competed during the 2020 pandemic, coaches had two main concerns:

• Not being able to replenish a roster after a possible mass exodus of transfers.

• Not being able to sign a full list of high school prospects because an increased number of scholarships were used for transfers.

“We believe schools should have temporary flexibility to deal with potential depletion of rosters due to transfers,” Penn State athletics director Sandy Barbour, a member of the DI Council, said in a statement. “This one-year waiver allows schools to properly utilize their scholarship restrictions.”

The waiver is expected to become official after the Division I council meeting closes on Wednesday.

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