College football and basketball players who transfer soon could find it more difficult to obtain immediate eligibility waivers, according to a report by USA Today Sports.
The NCAA Division I council was scheduled to meet Wednesday in Indianapolis and expected to approve new guidelines that "appear to specify and narrow the circumstances in which athletes should be given waivers," the newspaper reported.
The NCAA's Committee on Legislative Relief, which decides whether to grant waivers, has been criticized by schools and fans for at times making decisions that appeared to be inconsistent.
In 2018, the NCAA implemented a policy that allowed the committee to issue waivers if the student-athlete could show "documented mitigating circumstances outside of the student-athlete's control and directly impacts the health, safety or well-being of the student-athlete."
The updated language is more specific, per the report. It requires "documented extenuating, extraordinary and mitigating circumstances outside of the student-athlete's control that directly impacts the health, safety or well-being of the student-athlete."
The addition of the words extenuating and extraordinary "appears to send the message that the NCAA wants to tighten up on the requirements for waivers," the newspaper said.
"Across the board, the proposed new guidelines raise the bar for schools seeking a waiver on behalf of a student-athlete," said attorney Tom Mars, who has represented a number of high-profile athletes in waiver cases over the last year, to USA Today. "Given the dramatic increase in the number of waivers being sought for the 2019-20 season, raising the bar strikes me as a sensible short-term reaction by the Legislative Council."