The Division II Presidents Council opposed a heavily discussed transfer concept that was recently established in Division I, determining that the “notification of transfer” model will not advance through the governance structure as a Division II proposal for the 2020 NCAA Convention.
The proposal would have replaced the Division II permission-to-contact legislation for four-year student-athletes with a notification-based process that would require schools to submit a student-athlete’s written request for transfer in the new transfer portal. Under the concept, a Division II school would no longer be able to refuse permission to contact and prevent a transfer student-athlete from receiving an athletics scholarship at a new school. The concept was recommended by the Division II Legislation Committee and the Management Council.
In a lengthy discussion at its meeting Wednesday in Indianapolis, some members of the Presidents Council voiced concerns about potential consequences such a change to the transfer rules could have on Division II. They pointed to the division’s unique partial scholarship model and expressed worry that disparities among schools could grow under the recommended concept, further separating the “haves” from the “have nots” if schools with more financial aid had easier access to recruit student-athletes away from their current school. Would teams cut one athlete and end their athletics aid to make room for a transfer on the rise? How might competitive equity be impacted in the division? Would transfers increase, and, if so, how might that hinder students’ progress toward their degrees?
After wrestling with these questions, the group decided to support the status quo.
“I think some council members believe that the best way to support students is by not making a change, while a minority of other members felt that students would benefit most if we did make a change,” said Gary Olson, president of Daemen and chair of the Presidents Council. “It was an honest disagreement on how we can best support students. That’s always our major concern in Division II, and it always will be.”
While not required to use the transfer portal, Division II schools will continue to have access to it. About a third of the student-athletes who are now in the portal are Division II student-athletes.