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NCAA Grants Waiver to Provide Transfers with Immediate Eligibility amid COVID-19

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistDecember 16, 2020

FILE - In this March 18, 2015, file photo, the NCAA logo is displayed at center court as work continues at The Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, for the NCAA college basketball tournament. NCAA President Mark Emmert says NCAA Division I basketball tournament games will be played without fans in the arenas because of concerns about the spread of coronavirus. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)
Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

The NCAA announced Wednesday that all transfers in Division I sports will be eligible to immediately play for their new team this season:

Division I student-athletes are usually required to sit out a season after transferring unless they receive a waiver from the NCAA. 

The decision comes amid the uncertainty resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic with significant schedule adjustments in all collegiate sports.

The ruling will make a huge difference across Division I, with several teams getting immediate benefits.

Men's basketball player DeAndre Williams announced his decision to transfer from Evansville to Memphis in May but was still waiting on a ruling from the NCAA about his eligibility in 2020-21. According to Danielle Lerner of the Daily Memphian, he will now suit up for Wednesday's game against Tulane. 

Notre Dame coach Mike Brey also praised the NCAA's decision:

As Dick Vitale of ESPN noted, Notre Dame guard Trey Wertz will be eligible to play after transferring from Santa Clara.

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According to Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic, the NCAA ruling is intended to help teams who might have depleted rosters as a result of positive COVID-19 tests.

In order to qualify, players will have needed to be enrolled in their new school by the fall semester and this has to be their first time transferring to a four-year institution.