Miami Hurricanes QB Tate Martell likely had influence on new NCAA Transfer rules

CORONADO, CA - MAY 27: Tate Martell of Ohio State University attends Steve Clarkson's 13th Annual Quarterback Retreat on May 27, 2017 in Coronado, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
CORONADO, CA - MAY 27: Tate Martell of Ohio State University attends Steve Clarkson's 13th Annual Quarterback Retreat on May 27, 2017 in Coronado, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images) /

Miami Hurricanes quarterback Tate Martell was part of a busy offseason in the transfer portal. In the future, several players like Martell will not have to ask the NCAA for a waiver to play immediately in certain situations.

Tate Martell transferred to play for the Miami Hurricanes football team in part because Urban Meyer retired from coaching at Ohio State. Martell and other athletes in his situation have to petition the NCAA for immediate eligibility. Players previously had to sit out a season before being eligible at their new school.

The NCAA initially relaxed transfer rules in 2011. The graduate transfer rule was instituted allowing players who graduated, had eligibility remaining and enrolled in a graduate program at their new school to be eligible immediately. That did not apply to Martell who is entering his junior year of college as a student.

Martell redshirted as a freshman at Ohio State in 2017 and has three years of eligibility remaining with the Miami Hurricanes. He had to petition the NCAA to allow him to be eligibile in 2019. After sitting on Martell’s petition for a couple of months they finally ruled in March he will be allowed to play in 2019.

On Friday the NCAA ruled to relax the transfer rules even more. Players will now be able to transfer and gain immediate eligibility after a coaching change at their current school. If that had come earlier this year Martell would not have had to file a petition. His transfer from Ohio State created a lot of contention.

Martell stated in his petition for a waiver that he was transferring to Miami because of Meyer’s departure as head coach. There was a lot of doubt cast that Martell’s real reason for leaving Ohio State was the addition of Georgia transfer Justin Fields at QB. Fields had plenty of his own controversy leaving Athens.

One of the other instances involves incoming freshman. If the player had enrolled in summer school and then decided to transfer that player would have to sit out a year. Players will now be allowed immediate eligibility if their head coach leaves before fall classes start at their current school.

The NCAA issued a press release that addressed the new transfer rule and other subjects.

"“Incoming freshman college athletes who have enrolled in summer school and received athletics financial aid can transfer and play immediately without a waiver if their head coach departs before the first day of classes for the fall term.”"

A proposal to have graduate transfers scholarships count for two years if they didn’t receive their graduate degree failed. This would have applied only to football and basketball and would have been applicable even if the athlete left school after completing their eligibility. Sports Illustrated examined the proposal.

"“According a release, the NCAA voted not to pass Proposal 2018-106. The proposal would have forced teams who acquired a graduate transfer in football, men’s or women’s basketball to commit a scholarship for two years to that player instead of just one for the athlete’s lone year of eligibility.”"

Friday’s decision continues the NCAA evolving towards giving players more autonomy if they decide to transfer. The Miami Hurricanes football program took advantage of the transfer portal more than anyone else this offseason. Martell is one of eight players joining the Miami football program for the 2019 season.

CBS Sports published the NCAA’s original dialogue allowing players to transfer and seek a waiver to gain immediate eligibility. “Documented mitigating circumstances that are outside the student-athlete’s control and directly impact the health, safety and well-being of the student-athlete.”

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Friday’s NCAA decision allows athletes more flexibility in the future but is still ambiguous. The new rule clarifies transfer due to a coaching change will be immediately eligible. The mitigating circumstances referenced is basically keeping the current rule the same that gives a player immediately eligibility with a waiver.