The current one-time transfer exception is not good for college football. Even professional athletes have contracts that bind them to teams for certain time periods and allow organizations a fair opportunity to build a winning roster.
A transfer model must be adopted that offers athletes the option to explore other opportunities, but still incentivizes schools to invest in and develop players.
I propose a model where all players have the opportunity to transfer and be immediately eligible AFTER they have accumulated the equivalent of 60 credit hours at their current institution AND again after they graduate (if they still have eligibility remaining).
If a player declines to transfer when they hit the 60 hours, that player loses the opportunity to transfer and be eligible immediately until they are a grad transfer.
Any player may elect to transfer during the transfer window at ANY point in their career, but transferring before or after your “free” 60 hour transfer or “free” grad transfer will cause you to sit out a year AND lose a year of eligibility.
Hardship waivers are no longer available for anyone. If your dog gets sick and you want to transfer, too bad. If someone in your social studies class looks at you funny, too bad. If your favorite coach gets hired somewhere else, too bad. You can still transfer during any transfer window, but there are consequences for doing so outside of your “free” opportunities.
The transfer window also opens and closes in the spring. Let’s say it is open from February 15-April 15.
If you opt to explore your transfer option when you are eligible, you cannot participate in offseason workouts or spring football at your current school and you must sign with your new school by X date to be eligible for the next football season.
If you do not sign by X date, you must wait until the next year’s transfer window and lose a year of eligibility or you may drop down a level to Juco, FCS, DII, DIII and be eligible immediately.
The 60 hours must be accumulated AT the current institution. If you graduate high school with 30 hours of college credit, that doesn’t count. Everyone starts at 0 towards the transfer requirement when they enroll at their school.
This proposed transfer model allows players who fulfill their obligations as student athletes the freedom to fulfill their athletic potential while also rewarding schools for the investments they make in these players to adequately plan and build winning rosters.