New Transfer Rules
New transfer rules are coming to the NCAA, and they could have an outsized effect on the world of NCAA Football and NCAA sports as a whole.
During SEC Media Days, the announcement came down from the NCAA that, following the Division 1 Council recommending that the pre-existing limit on number of transfers for each individual in the transfer portal be eliminated. While the transfer rules have not yet gone into effect, it’s expected that the NCAA will approve the motion during their meeting in early August.
This recent decision is coming on the heels of the already recently relaxed guidelines on athlete transfers. There are, as with everything else with the NCAA, critics and supporters on both sides of the issue, with some detractors feeling that it will lead to athletes playing for four teams in four years and not having loyalty or dedication to their programs, while supporters acknowledge that any other college student is welcome to transfer to different schools as they see fit, and if the “student” part of “student-athlete” is to be recognized, college athletes need to be given that same freedom.
The reality of the new rules is that they will likely affect only a small number of players, as the academic transfer requirements will be difficult for any player to meet multiple times within one college career. Beyond that, incoming transfers will have to be guaranteed financial aid for their five-year window of eligibility, reducing the viability for many programs to encourage consistent transfers between players.
NCAA Loosens Restrictions on Sports Betting Data Rules
Earlier this year, the NCAA elected to loosen their restrictions on the availability and sale of player data to sports books and betting organizations. In late April, the NCAA ruled that it is no longer a violation for NCAA teams and schools to sell player data to sports betting companies, a decision that came on the heels of other major changes like the NIL deal being introduced to the NCAA, and most publicly, NCAA Football.
The decision by the NCAA seems to have been triggered by an announcement by Mid-American Conference, who announced an agreement with a company that sells data to sportsbooks. Beyond that, the Pac-12 has also announced their intention to sell player and team data, although that intention could be short-lived if the Pac-12 dissolves in the near future following the departure of USC and UCLA, and the rumored departure of other major programs.
In terms of what this means for NCAAF betting lines, it should mean that the variety & amount of potential betting opportunities for collegiate athletics will increase, particularly when paired with the NIL deal now granting athletes write to their own names, images, and likenesses (hence the name). What this means for the type of bets in the NCAA betting space remains to be seen, but with the vast majority of states currently disallowing player props for collegiate sports, this could be an indication that betting regulations will be relaxed in the near future. The landscape of college sports is currently in upheaval, and with the restructuring of conferences, new NIL deals, anti-trust lawsuits, and overall reshaping of processes, there’s no real surprise that sports books and betting organizations would choose to get involved as well.
However, while sports betting companies may be paying for the rights to certain data, the NCAA has been clear on one thing: betting on games and results is still fundamentally disallowed for anyone involved with college programs, from the players on up to the coaches. Because of the potential for impropriety from teams, programs, and individuals, the NCAA has not felt an obligation to relax their stance on betting by those within their world. The increased transparency in NCAA athletics has had a positive effect on the athletic climate as a whole, but they’re not taking any chances. The absolute last thing that collegiate athletics needs is a betting scandal by any players or influential staff members within any of their member schools. Perhaps in the future the restrictions will be relaxed to allow betting with specific oversight and guidelines, but for the time being, NCAA betting is for those of us not involved in the NCAA.