BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (CBS46) - Southeastern Conference athletes who make intraconference transfers will no longer need to serve an automatic year in residence at their new school before being eligible for competition. The SEC said the policy change takes effect immediately. The new policy will better align with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) adopted in April which established a universal one-time transfer opportunity which applied to student-athletes across all sports.
"This is an important measure to further support student-athletes throughout the Southeastern Conference," said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. "While maintaining the expectation that coaches and others avoid improper recruiting, this change will ensure that student-athletes who enroll at an SEC member institution will enjoy the flexibility afforded to other student-athletes across the nation."
There are deadlines for athletes to gain immediate eligibility. The student-athlete will need to declare his or her intent to transfer by February 1 for Fall sports, May 1 for Winter sports and July 1 for Spring sports. The NCAA rules have similar deadlines except the NCAA deadline for Fall sports is May 1.
"The SEC has established a deadline for declaring an intention to transfer in Fall sports as February 1 in order to create time windows that are more consistent across Fall, Winter and Spring sports," Sankey said.
The SEC decision to allow immediate eligibility for intraconference transfers came after a vote by the SEC's presidents and chancellors Thursday.