Multiple-transfer athletes can play amid lawsuit, NCAA says

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- With college basketball's portal season about to tip off, athletes who have transferred multiple times can compete in the next academic year if they meet conditions while a lawsuit continues against the NCAA, the organization said Wednesday.

The NCAA issued the guidance as an update to a document previously circulated to its member schools about its redshirt rule as it pertained to the lawsuit filed by a coalition of states. In December, multiple-transfer athletes who were denied the chance to compete immediately were allowed by a federal judge in West Virginia to play through the remainder of this academic year.

NCAA rules allow underclassmen to transfer once without having to sit out a year. But an additional transfer as an undergraduate generally requires the NCAA to grant a waiver allowing the athlete to compete immediately. Without it, the athlete would have to sit out for a year at the new school.

Last January, the NCAA implemented stricter guidelines for granting those waivers on a case-by-case basis.

On Wednesday, the NCAA said while it is not certain whether the preliminary injunction issued by the judge will remain in place during the 2024-25 season, athletes who transfer again during or after the current academic year won't be subject to the requirement that they sit out one year. However, transfer window notification rules must be followed.

The transfer window for men's and women's basketball runs from March 18 to May 1.

The NCAA also said athletes would "continue to be subject to all other existing eligibility legislation and to any eligibility standards required for competition that may be developed or modified for the 2024-25 academic year."

The lawsuit is scheduled for a jury trial in June 2025 in Wheeling, West Virginia.